Grevy's Zebra | African Wildlife Foundation

Grevy's zebras are endangered due to hunting and habitat loss

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Grevy's Zebra

Conservation Status:

Endangered

  • Can run up to 40 miles per hour
  • Population decline of 50% In the last two decades
  • Approximately 2000 Grevy's zebras left

Quick Facts

Scientific name

Equus grevyi

Weight

770 to 990 lb.

Size

50 to 60 in. at the shoulder

Life span

20 years

Habitat

Grasslands and savannas

Diet

Herbivorous

Gestation

13 months

Predators

Lions, cheetahs, hyenas, hunting dogs, leopards, humans

Habitat

Where do Grevy’s zebras live?

Historically, the Grevy’s zebra inhabited the semiarid scrublands and plains of Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, and Kenya in East Africa. However, due to rapid declines in their population, they are now confined to the Horn of Africa, primarily Southern Ethiopia and Northern Kenya. 

Tags: Kenya, Samburu, East Africa View Africa | Habitat

Physical Characteristics

What is a Grevy’s zebra?

The long-legged Grevy’s zebra is the largest of the wild equids. It is distinguished by its unique stripes, which are as distinctive as human fingerprints. Foals are born with reddish-brown stripes and, gradually, their coats darken to black. The Grevy’s zebra is more closely related to the wild ass than the horse, while the plains zebra is more closely related to the horse. Grevy’s zebras also are taller, have larger ears, and have narrower stripes than plains zebras. 

Behavior & Diet

They have social structures.

Grevy’s zebras are loosely social animals that live in herds. A stallion’s attachment to his land and a mare’s attachment to her young are the most stable relationships. Within the herd, dominance is relatively nonexistent, except for the right a territorial male has to a breeding female. If no females are around, the resident male will associate with bachelor males in a friendly manner.

Foals can run less than an hour after birth.

Newborn foals are able to stand after just six minutes, and they can run after 40 minutes. They are dependent on their mothers for milk until they reach about 6 to 8 months of age. Peak birth periods for the Grevy’s zebra are usually July through August, and mature females breed in two-year intervals. 

They are grazers.

Grevy’s zebras are extremely mobile grazers, and they can digest many types, and parts, of plants that cattle cannot. Despite their mobility, Grevy’s are water-dependent and will migrate to grazing lands only within reach of water.

Gallery
  • Grevy Zebra Ron Geatz
  • Grevy Zebra Paul Thomson
  • Grevy Zebra Craig R. Sholley
  • Grevy's Zebra Protection Paul Muoria
  • Grevy's Zebra Protection Paul Muoria
  • Grevy's Zebra Protection Paul Muoria
  • Grevy's Zebra Protection Paul Muoria
Challenges

Grevy’s zebras have undergone one of the most substantial reductions of range of any African mammal.

Habitat loss in an already restricted range is a serious threat to the Grevy’s zebra's survival. It is in competition for resources with other grazers as well as cattle and livestock. Due to overgrazing and competition for water, the juvenile Grevy’s zebras have a low survival rate.

Hunting for Grevy’s zebras persists.

Hunting is the primary cause of decline of Grevy’s zebras in Ethiopia. They are primarily hunted for their striking skins but will occasionally be killed for food, and in some regions, medicinal uses continue.

Solutions

Our solutions to protecting the Grevy’s zebra:

  • Employ technology for conservation.

    African Wildlife Foundation worked with Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) to fit Grevy’s zebras with collars in Buffalo Spring National Reserve. The Global Positioning System (GPS)/Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) collars provide scientists with critical information concerning Grevy’s zebras’ movement patterns and whereabouts. By gaining an understanding of their patterns, scientists are better able to protect the zebras. 

  • Engage wildlife scouts.

    AWF works with communities who live in close quarters with wildlife and equips scouts with essential tools, such as GPS-monitoring devices and vehicles. As a result, AWF is able to ensure enhanced protection of wildlife in these regions as well as provide additional employment opportunities to local communities.

Projects

Will you show the Grevy’s zebra your support?

With your help, AWF can continue working on initiatives like the collaring of Grevy’s zebras, wildlife scout training, and habitat protection. Donate to a cause that will help with wildlife conservation and ensure the continued survival of this endangered species.

  • Grevy's Zebra Protection
    Monitoring Grevy’s zebra populations in the Samburu Landscape

    Grevy’s zebras are in grave danger.

    A mere few decades ago, in the 1970s, more than 15,000 Grevy’s zebras inhabited Africa. Today, fewer than 2,500 remain. The...

    Read more
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