International Zebra Day and Protecting the Grevy's Zebra

Meet two women protecting these endangered zebras with CNN's video.

The 31st January is International Zebra Day, and it’s a great chance to raise awareness of zebra conservation and how you can help.  

ZSL has 10 things you didn’t know about Zebras on their website – take a look and see how many of the 10 things you knew!

There are three species of zebra...(and some subspecies, nature is never that simple!)

Grevy Zebra

The Grevy's Zebra Trust was founded to address the urgent need to conserve Grevy’s Zebra in Kenya and Ethiopia.  It recognises that zebras needs to be able to co-exist with people and that commuities must design and drive conservation efforts. So it works with communities who help monitor the zebra through citizen science, and it uses the data it receives about zebras to make informed decisions and come up with solutions for positive conservation results.  The Trust has many partners internationally and in Kenya and you can find a list of them here(I've found their website can take time to load.)


Find out more about the Grevy's Zebra
Find out more about the Grevy's Zebra
©Grevy's Zebra Trust

Find out about the Kenya’s Recovery & Action Plan for Grevy’s Zebra (2017-2026)  

The Grevy's Zebra Trust’s Scouts, Ambassadors and Warriors patrol the bush areas where they live.  GPS collars help monitor zebra populations (including the reproductive status of collared Grevy Zebras) so that the Trust knows when foals are born.

  • They collect scientific data
  • They conduct conservation education outreach to schools and villages
  • They work with their families and communities to manage critical water sources for the zebras
  • Results are reviewed annually and then the teams make recommendations for zebra conservation, based both on the results and local knowledge.  

The 27 and 28 January 2024 is the Great Grevy's Rally - a citizen science rally.  Participants drive throughthe Grevy’s Zebra Range, repeatedly covering every accessible part of the landscape over two days and photographing every visible Grevy’s zebra.  Find out more about the 2024 Great Grevy Rally here.

So far...

  • The persecution of the Grevy's zebra has lessened
  • There's less tolerance of conflict with wildlife
  • There's more awareness of Grevy's zebra and other wildlife in the community
  • Sick and dead animals are being reported

The aim is to meet this goal by mitigating the threats to Grevy’s zebra survival, increasing their numbers, and building a solid foundation upon which to sustain Grevy’s zebra conservation in the long-term

Drought in Kenya

Zebras have limited access to water because of the semi-arid habitat they live in and the pressures for water as people, livestock and wildlife share the little available anyway.  The Trust manages water access in the dry season to reduce this pressure (which helps both zebra and other wildlife).  A prolonged drought started in Kenya in 202 and the survival of one of the largest zebra populations was severely threatened in northern Kenya.   The Trust worked with as many of these zebras as possible to help them survive.  Some sites were co-managed with communities and some Scouts (as mentioned above) came to help.  There were problems for people too as they lost their livelihoods so the Trust helped them too.  Please read their 2023 Drought Response Report here


You can donate to the Grevy's Zebra Trust here.   You’ll see that donations to the Trust are made through the Wildlife Conservation Network – 100% of your donation goes directly to the field to support the conservation of Grevy’s zebra. 


Plains Zebra

The African Wildlife Foundation can tell us more about the Plains Zebra.  
The species is threatened by habitat loss and livestock, who compete with zebras for food and water. They are also hunted for their meat and skins.  The solution is to set aside space for the zebras with wildlife corridors so that they can get from one area to another, and to promote sustainable livestock management.  The solutions say the African Wildlife Foundation are:

  • To set aside safe space for wildlife
  • To promote sustainable livestock management

Mountain Zebra

There's also the Mountain Zebra who lives in the open grasslands of South Africa, Namibia and South West Angola.   There are two subspecies, one being the Cape Mountain Zebra which the Gondwana Conservation Foundation are working to conserve, increasing their numbers, and the other the Hartmann's Mountain Zebra. Marwell manage the International Studbook for Hartmann’s mountain zebra and they are undertaking studies on the impact disease has and working to understand how the reproductive performance of this and other species is affected by social behaviour and structure.  Hartmann’s mountain zebras are in the mountainous zone between the Namib Desert and the central plateau in Namibia.  They are vulnerable to extinction, although greater in number than the Mountain Zebra.

Marwell Wildlife

Marwell Zoo supports the Grevy Zebra Trust and they were instrumental in helping create a national conservation strategy for the species in Kenya.  They are also a founding member of the Grevy's Zebra Technical Committee - this guides and implements conservation in aciton.  They undertake surveys and monitoring of the zebras to gain understanding of the species' changes in populations and also their distribution. Marwell manages the International Studbook and the European Ex situ Programme (EEP) for Grevy’s zebra, and it's got a dedicated Kenyan team who work to conserve Grevy Zebra.  Find out more here.

You can adopt a Grevey's zebra from Marwell Zoo in the UK and also a Chapman's Zebra from Newquay Zoo.

This Zebra Soft Toy is available from ZSL's online shop
This Zebra Soft Toy is available from ZSL's online shop.
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