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Plains Zebra (Equus quagga) Fact Sheet: Population & Conservation Status

Population Status

Population estimates
(King and Moehlman 2016)

  • Total population
    • Over 500,000 individuals
      • 150,000-250,000 mature individuals
  • Considered common and widespread, but population declines in many range states
    • Approximately 25% decline through 1990s and 2000s
  • In many countries, only found in protected areas
  • For country-specific information, see IUCN assessment


Grant's zebra (Equus quagga boehmii)

  • Account for c. 75% of all individuals (Hack and Lorenzen 2008; Hack et al. 2002)

Conservation Status


  • Near Threatened (2016 assessment) (King and Moehlman 2016)
    • Populations declining in many areas
    • In many countries, only found in protected areas


  • Not listed (UNEP 2019)

Threats to Survival

No major range-wide threats (Hack and Lorenzen 2008)

Localized threats (Hack et al. 2002)

  • Overhunting
    • Poaching a more significant concern in northern range (Hack and Lorenzen 2008)
  • Habitat loss
    • More significant concern in southern range (Hack and Lorenzen 2008)

Management Actions

National parks and reserves (from Hack et al. 2002)

  • Protected within many plains zebra populations
    • Tanzania and Kenya have well-developed wildlife monitoring programs, shelter many of the world's wild individuals
      • c. 75% of all individuals reside within these two countries
  • Inhabited protected areas (a select list) (from Hack and Lorenzen 2008)
    • Serengeti National Park,Tanzania
    • Tsavo and Masaai Mara, Kenya
    • Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe
    • Etosha National Park, Namibia
    • Kruger National park, South Africa

Proposed action (from Hack et al. 2002)

  • Improve population monitoring across range
    • Increase study coverage and frequency
  • Improve risk assessment
  • Quantify and manage global and local genetic diversity
  • Expand understanding of basic species biology
  • Investigate economics of alternative utilization strategies

Plains Zebra (Equus quagga)

a Plains Zebra

Image credit: © S Yeliseev from Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Page Citations

Hack and Lorenzen (2008)
Hack et al. (2002)
Klingel (2013)
Mobaek et al. (2005)
Pienaar (1963)

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