Ancient livestock dung heaps are now African wildlife hotspots

Enriched settlement corrals of the earliest Pastoral Neolithic herders in southern Kenya support nutritious grassy patches in wooded savannas that attract cattle and wildlife. Credit: Fiona Marshall

Often viewed as wild, naturally pristine and endangered by human encroachment, some of the African savannah’s most fertile and biologically diverse wildlife hotspots owe their vitality to heaps of dung deposited there over thousands of years by the livestock of wandering herders, suggests new research in the journal Nature.

“Many of the iconic wild African landscapes, like the Mara Serengeti, have been shaped by…

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