Each year, more than a million wildebeest migrate through Africas Serengeti Mara Ecosystem, and while crossing the Kenyan reach of the Mara River, thousands drown. On average, 6,200 wildebeest succumb each year during migration. It might seem tragic, but these drownings are essential to the ecology of the river, since they deliver terrestrial nitrogen, phosphorus, and carbon to the rivers food web. Fish and scavengers feast on soft tissues, while wildebeest bones release nutrients into the system,feeding algae and influencing the food web.
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