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Rare Grevy’s Zebra in danger of extinction

Date Published: 10 Dec, 2013
Rare Grevy’s Zebra in danger of extinction

Grevy’s Zebra, a rare species, is in danger of becoming extinct if urgent measures are not taken to reverse its rapidly diminishing numbers.

Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), the lead government body charged with championing Conservation of wildlife held the 5th annual Grevy’s Zebra research conference on November 7, 2013 at its headquarters to review measures taken over the past 10 years to stem the decreasing population of the species, whose population has dwindled from 20,000 in the 1970’s to 1,800.

KWS senior Scientist in charge of species Dr. Charles Musyoki says Grevy’s zebra is facing serious risk of extinction in the medium and long term and is now in the brink of being categorized as critically endangered species.

Grevy’s Zebra is strikingly beautiful and is popular with tourists, attracting thousands of high-end tourists to northern Kenya every year, where it is usually found. It is adapted to dry areas, but has over years been adversely affected by poaching and change in climate. It’s only found north of equator with the largest concentration being in Samburu County and further north.

“The animal was available in six countries in Africa in 1970’s but now only 2000 are available in Kenya and Ethiopia’, says Dr. Musyoki. The other countries where it used to be found are Eretria, Djibouti, Somalia and Southern Sudan.

 

The decline in population of this species is attributed to a number of factors, including:

  • Change in habitat
  • Poaching
  • Inadequate food due to competition with livestock
  • Scarcity of water sources in their habitat

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