Grevy’s Zebra Conservation
To promote the survival of Grevy’s zebras in Kenya
The largest of all wild equids, the Grevy's zebra (Equus grevyi), is now considered "endangered" across its range, with less than 150 in Ethiopia and the remainder, perhaps 2,400, in northern Kenya. Grevy's zebras are distinguished from other zebras by the intricate pattern of narrow black and white stripes on their skins. Unfortunately, this same trait made Grevy's zebra highly prized by trophy hunters in the past; thankfully, such trophy hunting has been outlawed for decades, but illegal poaching for food and medicinal purposes has continued to drive this species towards the precipice of extinction. The process has been accelerated by critical range reduction and competition over scarce resources accompanied by an unprecedented influx of humans and their domestic livestock. In addition, there has been a significant, very recent decline in the species in northern Kenya due to disease and drought. These factors have combined to produce a devastating depopulation of this distinctive species, an alarming decline estimated to be as much as 87% over the last three decades.
With less than a half of a per cent of the Grevy's zebra range falling within official protected areas, this species' survival depends heavily upon the attitudes and engagement of people in community areas. Towards this end, in 2007 the Grevy's Zebra Trust, an independent wildlife conservation organisation based in Kenya, was established to address the urgent need to conserve Grevy's zebra in the community rangelands of Ethiopia and Kenya. The Grevy's Zebra Trust is working holistically to secure critical resources and safeguard this species from extinction across its range by engaging communities in Kenya and Ethiopia in the protection and monitoring of Grevy's zebra.
Successful ongoing programmes like the Grevy's zebra scout programme exemplify the kind of holistic and synergistic approach that community conservation is all about. The communities have embraced the notion that what is good for the wildlife can be very good for the community. With continued investment into community-led conservation programmes and into specific activities that address the threats facing Grevy's zebra, there is hope for this species in its native range.
WAZA Conservation Project 04024 is implemented by the Grevy's Zebra Trust. The project is supported by African Wildlife Foundation, American Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Equid Taxon Advisory Group, Brevard Zoo Conservation Fund, California Desert Chapter of AAZK, Chicago Zoological Society/Chicago Board of Trade, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, Dallas Zoo, Denver Zoological Society, Detroit Zoological Society, Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, Earthwatch Institute, Environmental Systems Research Institute, Fauna Research Inc., Gilman International Conservation/White Oak Conservation Centre, Jackson Zoo, Jacksonville Zoo, James Warwick Photography, Kenya Wildlife Service, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Los Angeles Zoo & Botanical Gardens, Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association, Marwell Preservation Trust, Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund, Mulhouse Zoo, Oakar Services, Oklahoma City Zoo, Oklahoma City Zoo AAZK, Oregon Zoo Foundation's Future for Wildlife Conservation Fund, Northern Rangelands Trust, Phoenix Zoo, Prince Bernhard Fund for Nature, Princeton University, Riverbanks Zoo, Sacramento Zoo, Saint Louis Zoo AAZK, Saint Louis Zoo's WildCare Institute, Sea World & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund, Sedgwick Co. Zoo, Toronto Zoo, U.S. Agency for International Development, Utah's Hogle Zoo, Wildlife Conservation Network, Zoological Society of San Diego and Zürcher Tierschutz.
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