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Plains Zebra (Equus quagga) Fact Sheet: Distribution & Habitat

Distribution

Most widespread distribution of all wild equids (Hack et al. 2002)

Eastern and Southern Africa (from Klingel 2013 unless otherwise noted)

  • Regions east of the Nile River
    • South from southern (S) Sudan and S Ethiopia to northern (N) Namibia and N South Africa
    • Most live in Kenya and Tanzania
      • Countries are home to c. 75% of all wild individuals (Hack et al. 2002)
  • Subspecific distribution
    • E. q. borensis - portions of Sudan, Uganda, and Kenya
    • E. q. boehmi - portions of Ethiopia, Somalia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Zambia
    • E. q. crawshayi - portions of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique
    • E. q. chapmani - portions of Angola, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa
    • E. q. burchellii - portions of Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland, and South Africa
    • Equus quagga quagga - extinct since c. 1883; formerly in Cape Province, South Africa
  • Locally extinct in Burundi and Lesotho (Hack and Lorenzen 2008)
    • Possibly extinct in Angola

Recent distribution (from Klingel 2013 unless otherwise noted)

  • Historical distribution much broader
    • Distribution within the past 100,000 years smaller than historical range
    • Previously present across the African continent
    • Fossil remains from North Africa (Churcher and Richardson 1978)

Habitat

Habitat generalist (from Klingel 2013 unless otherwise noted)

  • Live in many habitat types
    • Grassland and grassland-bushland or grassland-woodland mosaics
    • Avoid rainforest, dune forests, deserts, and permanent wetlands (Hack and Lorenzen 2008; Hack et al. 2002)
  • Water essential
    • Rarely more than 12 km (7.5 mi) from a water source

Elevation range

  • 0-4,300 m (0-14,108 ft) (Hack and Lorenzen 2008)

Distribution Map

Plains Zebra distribution map

Plains zebra distribution.

Adapted from www-d.-maps.com according to IUCN fact sheet. Click here for detailed distribution information (IUCN).

Page Citations

Churcher and Richardson (1978)
Hack and Lorenzen (2008)
Hack et al. (2002)
Klingel (2013)

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