International Zebra Day and Protecting the Grevy's Zebra
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!)
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
Find out about the Kenya’s Recovery & Action Plan for Grevy’s Zebra
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.
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. The Trust manages water access in the dry season to reduce this pressure (which helps both zebra and other wildlife).
The aim 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.
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.
Marwell Zoo supports the Grevy Zebra Trust and a research project has just been completed on how Grevy Zebra move across the landscape of North Kenya. Land degradation, competing with livestock for resources, infrastructure development and climate change have reduced the habitat available to the zebra and other species and also affected ability of populations to connect. The project showed the Grevy Zebra's reliance on water, with a trade-off apparently between suitable habitat and proxiity of people. The findings of this project will be invaluable in informing suitable land management planning in the north of Kenya and give support to conservation actions which can be far more targeted. Visit Marwell Zoo's report on the project here from October 2022 and you can view the published article here.
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:
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 and the other the Hartmann's Mountain Zebra.