New Conservation Plan Will Protect Endangered Zebra Species
by John R. Platt
The governments of Kenya and Ethiopia agreed last week to develop a new action plan to help protect the endangered Grevy’s zebra (Equus grevyi), the rarest zebra species and the largest equid species on the planet. The previous five-year conservation strategy for the species expired last year.
Grevy’s zebra populations have declined from an estimated 15,000 in the 1970s to about 2,400 today. Most of the animals live in Kenya; about 140 live in Ethiopia. The species has disappeared from much of its previous range, including Somalia, Djibouti, Eritrea and Sudan. The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources calls the change “one of the most substantial reductions of range of any African mammal.”
As with so many other African species, poaching is a large reason for the reduction. Zebra hides can fetch big bucks, and both zebra fat and bone marrow have purported medicinal values in some traditional Kenyan medicine practices…