Grevy's Zebras on Lewa
The Grevy’s Zebra (Equus Grevi)
The Grevy’s zebra has suffered one of the most devastating reductions in range of any African mammal. Historically found in Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya, Grevy’s zebras are now restricted to northern Kenya and just about a hundred in Ethiopia. While less than 30 years ago there were 15,000 of these mesmerizing creatures roaming the wilds of Kenya, today around 2,600 remain, almost the total world population.
The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy is home to approximately 378 Grevy’s zebras, making it an important foundation for the re-emergence of this extremely endangered species. Lewa’s vision is to use this population as a source for re-stocking the former range, particularly conservation-friendly areas under community management.
Lewa’s Researchers Earning their Stripes
We have worked with Princeton University, the St. Louis Zoo, Earthwatch Institute, the Kenyan Wildlife Service, Marwell Wildlife, Northern Rangelands Trust, Save the Elephant, Safaricom and Vodafone to understand the dynamics and performance of Lewa’s Grevy’s zebra population
High-tech radio-collars help us monitor zebra in inaccessible areas, allowing us to compare the movement patterns on Lewa with those of northern populations
Almost 90% of our Grevy’s zebra have been identified in Lewa’s photo-identification database, using the unique stripe pattern (or “barcode”) on the right-hand side of the animal’s rump
These techniques provide valuable information such as movement patterns, resource hotspots, reproduction, foal survival and recruitment rates, and more
In the low light of the early morning or at sunset, zebra stripes distort the shape and distance of their bodies, protecting them from their natural predators who are on the hunt.