IUCN conservation status
Prey to many predators in Africa, these bovids take advantage of travelling in herds to protect themselves.
The Most Important Land Mammal Migration
Wildebeests feed mainly on short grass which they graze in the savannah. They are most active during the cooler periods of the day, at sunset and sunrise. Twice a year, more than a million wildebeest travel a total of about 3,000 km to find food.
Massive Frame and Powerful Muscles Providing Stamina
Although wildebeests are the preferred prey of many carnivores, including lions, they remain difficult to catch. Adult wildebeests can reach top speeds of 80 km/h and can maintain an average speed of 65 km/h when running. Their curved, parenthesis-like horns can rip open an unwary predator.
Reliance on Numbers to Limit Chances of Falling Prey to Predators
Wildebeests live in groups and usually in close proximity to other herbivores, such as zebras or gazelles. More pairs of eyes increase the chances of spotting an ambushing predator. Births are also synchronized to limit the impact of predation: more than 500,000 calves are born in just 2 to 3 weeks.
Essential to The Survival of Many Species, They're Considered Abundant in the Wild
Wildebeests are resilient animals; their populations are doing well, despite some threats. However, they compete with livestock for access to grazing land, and there's a risk of disease transmission from farm animals. Their natural habitat is also deteriorating.