OPERATION GREVY’S ZEBRA

Back to Africa’s latest project has started with the capture of Grevy’s Zebra (Equus grevyi) at Ol Pejeta Ranch. Ol Pejeta Conservancy has a small population of Grevy’s zebra and they are hybridizing with the common zebra in the reserve. This is causing a genetic dilution of this endangered species and it is not ideal. Grevy’s have been captured at Ol Pejeta and moved into the Northern White Rhino Intensive Protected Area. With the Northern Whites there are now two endangered species in this IPA. Back to Africa director Peter Morkel was present at the capture. These animals will be offered special protection in this area and it will be possible to monitor them intensively.

Grevy’s Zebra are an endangered species listed on Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. Their numbers and range have drastically declined within the past three decades. In the late 1970s, it was estimated that there were over 15,000 Grevy’s Zebras distributed widely in Africa. By 2007, their numbers had dropped to a global population estimate of 2,445 individuals and currently restricted to Kenya and Ethiopia. In Ethiopia, there are fewer than 126 Grevy’s Zebra remaining, representing a 90% decline since the late 1970’s. A slightly lower decline has been recorded in Kenya with between 1,838 and 2,319 individuals left reflecting an 84-87% decline over the same period. The range of the species in Kenya is mainly in northern Kenya within Samburu and Laikipia districts. The threats facing this species include among others, loss of range, poaching, competition with domestic livestock for critical resources, and predation. Movement of these animals into the IPA create a metapopulation that will be removed from these risks.

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