“River horse” waste spells death by defecation for Kenyan fish
Joanna Cummings |
Chris Dutton and Amanda Subalusky first started working on the Mara River in 2008, participating in an environmental flow assessment to determine the amount of water that needs to stay in the river to keep the ecosystem functioning. As part of the project, they spent a year doing intensive water quality and macroinvertebrate sampling throughout the basin.
They first realized that something weird was going on in the river when they installed a water quality sonde that measured dissolved oxygen to look at the fluxes of sediment. “We noticed that there were some extreme drops in dissolved oxygen during some flood events and that, sometimes, there would be a massive fish-kill event. We began to wonder if the resident population of hippos had something to do with it,” says Dutton.
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