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Grevy's Zebra (Equus grevyi) Fact Sheet: Population & Conservation Status

Population Status

Population estimates

  • About 2,000 individuals (Rubenstein et al. 2016)
     

Historical estimates of population size

  • Global population estimates
    • 1960's: 15,000 total population estimated
    • 2000: total population in all countries in wild estimated at 3,000 (Williams 2002)
    • 2008: 1,966-2,447 individuals, combined IUCN estimate for Ethiopia and Kenya (Moehlman et al 2008)
      • About 750 mature individuals
      • Largest sub-population is 255 mature individuals
      • Possible sighting in Sudan, remains unverified
  • Ethiopian population estimates
    • 1980: 1,900
    • 1995: 500-600, a drastic decline from the previous estimate (Rowen & Ginsberg 1992)
    • 2003: 110 individuals (Williams et al 2003)
      • Represents a roughly 94% decline since the 1980s
      • Decline attributed to killing by well-armed local people; loss of habitat deemed to pose a lesser threat
    • 2006: 128 individuals
    • 2007: 126 individuals (Kenya's National Grevy's Zebra Task Force 2008)
  • Kenyan population estimates
    • 2000: last comprehensive survey in Kenya: 2,571 individuals ( ±136)
    • 2006: decline of 50-68% between 1988 and 2006
    • 2007: potential, small increase in population size

Conservation Status

IUCN Status

  • Endangered (2016 assessment) (Rubenstein et al. 2016)
  • Historical listing
    • Endangered 1986-present

CITES Status

  • Appendix I (UNEP 2019)
    • No commercial trade in skins

Other Listings

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Endangered Species List
    • Threatened (Federal Register 1979)
  • Legally protected in Ethiopia (Kenya's National Grevy's Zebra Task Force 2008)
  • Kenya government currently revising status from 'Game Animal'
    • Considering amending listing to 'Protected Animal' (Kenya's National Grevy's Zebra Task Force 2008)
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Threats to Survival

Conflict with humans (from Moehlman et al. 2008)

  • Hunted by humans for sport
  • Populations negatively impacted by armed conflicts within their distribution
  • Compete with domestic livestock for resources

Habitat loss and degradation

  • Lack of water
  • Irrigation for agriculture has reduced river flow

Management Actions

Northern Rangelands Endangered Species Program

  • Designates land for pastoralist families and native wildlife
    • First supported at West Gate community by San Diego Zoo in 2004
    • Set aside some 128,500 acres of prime habitat for Grevy's zebra and others

Grevy's Zebra Scouts

  • Community based program
    • Program began in 2003
    • Members are trained to collect data on zebra ecology

Page Citations

Federal Register (1979)
Kenya's National Grevy's Zebra Task Force (2008)
Moehlman et al (2008)
Rowen & Ginsberg (1992)
Williams (2002)
Williams et al (2003)

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