How Drought Turned an African Savanna Into a Lush Wildlife Paradise

Drought killed off inedible plants in Kruger National Park, making room for other plants that animals like to eat.

(Inside Science) — In 2015, disaster struck South Africa’s Kruger National Park — or so it seemed. It was the worst drought on record, lasting 28 months and reducing the once-verdant grassland in the park’s south-central region to bare dirt.

“It was really shocking to see,” said Sally Koerner, a community ecologist at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. “There were a lot of bones.”

But when the rains returned, the region made a remarkable recovery, transforming into what may be an even better wildlife habitat than before the drought. Koerner presented her findings on Tuesday at the Ecological Society of America meeting in New Orleans.

Koerner and her…

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