Bro-Jorgensen, J.; Franks, D.W.; Meise, K.

Interspecific communication in African savannah herbivores

This dataset contains information about various aspects of the alarm communication network of African savannah herbivores. Data were collected in April 2015 and between September 2015 and October 2016 in the Masai Mara National Reserve, in southern Kenya (1°30’S, 35°10’E). Research focused on the 12 most common herbivore species in the ecosystem. For each of these species, the dataset provides information on vigilance rates, the probability to alarm call in response to different predators, the responsiveness to heterospecific alarm calls, as well as the relative abundance and grouping behaviour of species. Details on study species, study design and data analysis are provided in the supporting documentation.

Publication date: 2019-02-05

Get the data

This dataset is made available under the terms of the Open Government Licence

Format of the data: Dat

You must cite: Bro-Jorgensen, J.; Franks, D.W.; Meise, K. (2019). Interspecific communication in African savannah herbivores. NERC Environmental Information Data Centre.


© Natural Environment Research Council


Study area
Temporal extent
2015-04-01    to    2016-10-31

Provenance & quality

The study was conducted in the Masai Mara National Reserve as part a joint study between the University of Liverpool and the University of York. Field data were collected by experienced observers following standardised protocols. Vigilance data were video-recorded and vigilance rates subsequently analysed in BORIS, the Behavioural Observation Research Interactive Software. Responses to predator dummies were categorized based on the occurrence of alarm calls within 5 minutes of predator detection. Playback experiments were video-recorded and analysed in BORIS using a clearly defined behavioural protocol. In each case, we excluded experiments that have been disturbed by approaching predators, humans or alarm calling heterospecifics (including alarm calling conspecifics in vigilance recordings). Species counts were conducted along a pre-defined track on three different study plains. Again, we excluded sightings of groups with predators close by. The full description of the methodology is available in the metadata file submitted with this data set. Data were entered within 48 hours of recording and checked for accidental typos and unusual values.


Meise, K., Franks, D.W., & Bro-Jørgensen, J. (2019). Using social network analysis of mixed-species groups in African savannah herbivores to assess how community structure responds to environmental change. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 374(1781), 20190009.
Meise, K., Franks, D.W., & Bro‐Jørgensen, J. (2019). Alarm communication networks as a driver of community structure in African savannah herbivores. Ecology Letters, 23(2), 293–304.

Supplemental information

Meise, K., Franks, D. W., & Bro-Jørgensen, J. (2018). Multiple adaptive and non-adaptive processes determine responsiveness to heterospecific alarm calls in African savannah herbivores. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 285(1882), 20172676

Correspondence/contact details

Dr. Jakob Bro-Jorgensen
University of Liverpool


Bro-Jorgensen, J.
University of Liverpool
Franks, D.W.
University of York
Meise, K.
University of Liverpool

Other contacts

NERC EDS Environmental Information Data Centre
NERC Environmental Information Data Centre

Additional metadata

Topic categories
Aepyceros melampus African buffalo Alcelaphus buselaphus Animal behaviour Blue wildebeest Common eland Common warthog Connochaetes taurinus Damaliscus lunatus Desert warthog Equus quagga Evolutionary ecology Gazella granti Gazella thomsonii Giraffa camelopardalis Grant gazelle Hartebeest Impala Northern giraffe Ostrich Phacochoerus aethiopicus Plains zebra Struthio camelus Syncerus caffer Thomson gazelle Topi Tragelaphus oryx Tsessebe
Natural Environment Research Council Award: NE/L007185/1
Spatial representation type
Tabular (text)
Spatial reference system
WGS 84
Last updated
18 May 2022 12:29