My endangered wildlife paintings are included in a special category to provide updated information about the protective support that is currently underway by major wildlife conservation partners.
The information below is from the official websites of WCN wildnet.org (Wildlife Conservation Network) and/or WildAid.org who are protecting endangered wildlife. (Please see Artist’s Disclaimer at bottom.)
PROTECTING GREVY’S ZEBRAS
The plains of Africa are filled with zebras, their distinctive coats forming a sea of black and white across the continent’s landscapes. But in dry northern Kenya the unique Grevy’s zebra makes its home, and less than 2,500 of these special animals remain. Grevy’s Zebra Trust (GZT) engages local people to protect the remaining Grevy’s zebra and their habitat. GZT’s work is rooted in local values, capacity, and action.
Ears standing to full attention, neck arched, muscles tensed, 450kg of alert zebra ready for action. Watch a Grevy’s zebra adult male presiding over his territory and one begins to understand the majesty of this species. Indeed in 1882, Menelik II, Emperor of Abyssinia (now Ethiopia), thought the zebra was so regal that he presented one as a gift to the President of France, Jules Grévy. And so the name Grevy’s zebra was coined.
The Grevy’s is quickly distinguishable from its plains and mountain zebra counterparts due to its charming large round ears, and because it is tailor-made for the semi-arid climate where it lives. This zebra can survive for five days without water. However, even the hardy Grevy’s now struggles to live on land that has been overgrazed by livestock belonging to the local pastoralist communities. With drought always just a whisper away, the female Grevy’s zebra increasingly must leave her foal behind while looking for water. This increased search for water has amplified mortality rates, in turn leading to a dwindling population size.
Reproduction. After being inside their mothers for 13 months, Grevy’s zebra foals are born all legs and ears. Births are usually timed with the onset of rains with peaks observed in May/June (long rains) and November/December (short rains). When resources become scarce with a resulting drop in body condition, females may not come into oestrus.
Grevy’s Zebra Numbers. Grevy’s zebra are in crisis and numbers have declined rapidly. In the late 1970s, the global population of Grevy’s zebra was estimated to be 15,000 animals; present-day estimates indicate only 3,042 animals remain, representing at minimum an 80% decline in global numbers. In Kenya the 2018 estimate was 2,812 Grevy’s zebra and 230 in Ethiopia.
Current Recovery & Action Plan. The implementation of Kenya’s Recovery & Action Plan for Grevy’s Zebra (Equus grevyi) in Kenya (2017-2026) is being undertaken by the Grevy’s Zebra Technical Committee with coordination led by the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS). The latest revision of this document took place in 2017, taking into account the conservation challenges, successes and priorities emerging from the past four years, and focusing on actions for 2017-2026. Tracking of progress will be done biannually at the Grevy’s Zebra Technical Committee meetings and strategic reviews undertaken every three years to ensure that the status of threats is updated and that these threats are being effectively addressed.
Vision & Goal. Kenya’s vision is: To have viable populations of Grevy’s zebra in their natural habitat, functioning in healthy ecosystems and valued locally and globally. Her goal is: To ensure increasing populations of Grevy’s zebra and work towards fostering ecological, socio-cultural and economic sustainability within their natural range. This vision and goal will be achieved through Strategic Objectives that focus on mitigating the threats to Grevy’s zebra survival, increasing their numbers, and building a solid foundation upon which to sustain Grevy’s zebra conservation in the long-term.
Title: Grevy’s Zebra Mother and Foal
Reference photo for this artwork is from WCN/Grevy’s Zebra Trust.