A mere few decades ago, in the 1970s, more than 15,000 Grevy’s zebras inhabited Africa. Today, fewer than 2,500 remain. The greatest threats facing the species today are habitat fragmentation and loss, as more land is converted to agricultural use. Overgrazing by livestock is leading to significant environmental degradation—Grevy’s zebras compete with the ever-increasing livestock population and agricultural crops for water.
Partnering with the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), other conservation organizations, and various community-based groups in Northern Kenya’s Samburu and Isiolo Districts, African Wildlife Foundation set out in 2002 to conduct population censuses on community lands and the protected areas. Data on the population size, status, and the spatial and temporal distribution of Grevy’s zebras is necessary for effective management and conservation of this endangered species.
AWF’s Grevy’s zebra research has made considerable progress in gaining a greater understanding of the population. Until AWF and its partners intensified their work on the Grevy's zebra over the last several years, there was little awareness about its conservation status at the local, national, and international levels. Armed with data on just where the Grevy’s zebras live and roam in the landscape, the AWF team is now working closely with local communities and authorities to secure key areas for Grevy’s zebra conservation.
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