Grevy's zebra are the largest and most endangered of the three subspecies of zebra. They can be distinguished from the other two subspecies, Plains zebra and Mountain zebra, by distinct characteristics. They have larger ears, brown muzzles, narrower stripes, white bellies and black dorsal stripes.
In the past, the wild Grevy's zebra roamed across East Africa in Eritrea, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya. They have since had a swift decline in numbers and can now only be found in Ethiopia and Kenya. Since the 1970s, their population has declined from 15,000 down to just 3,000.
Habitat loss (for livestock grazing and infrastructure development).
Poaching (for bushmeat, skins and medicinal purposes).
Competition with livestock for shrinking resources.
Dams and water management.
Disease (can occur from sharing habitat with domestic livestock).
To find out more about the threats they face, go the IUCN's page here.
WHAT CAN WE DO?
Although Grevy's zebra populations currently appear to be stable, there is much work to do to secure a future for them. Below, we've come up with ways in which we can make that happen:
The first and most obvious is to donate to conservation efforts. This is the best thing you can do to increase the prospects for Grevy's zebras. There are some organisations carrying out excellent work to solve the complicated issues surrounding this zebra subspecies. Scroll down to the bottom of this page to find the organisations which we recommend supporting.
Drought periods are threatening Grevy's zebras as they cause a scarcity of food and water. Whilst drought is common across the African continent, research shows that the problem is becoming bigger due to global warming. Take a look at our page on climate change to find out ways in which our individual actions can prevent this.
TOP TIP: Maybe the most thrilling way to help is to travel to Ethiopia or Kenya to see the Grevy's zebra in the wild. Going on a safari is a great way of letting the government of that country know that protecting its wildlife is important. It's also a great way to learn more about wildlife conservation. Just make sure to avoid elephant ride safaris, as these fuel cruel practices and have a negative effect on wild elephant populations.
Lewa Wildlife Conservancy is a good option for seeing Grevy's zebras in the wild, as the reserve is home to the largest single population of this zebra subspecies. Here they work to protect and increase the zebra population by providing a safe habitat with abundant resources for it to thrive. A visit here will directly contribute towards wildlife conservation and local community development, find out more here.
If travelling to these countries doesn't appeal, or isn't a realistic option for you, then many places around the world keep Grevy's zebras in captivity. It's important to know that although it's exciting to see wild animals up close, their well-being in a cage is certainly questionable. If you really want to see a zebra in captivity then our guidance would be that with that desire to see one, you also have the desire to learn more about how we can protect them in the wild. Using advice from this page, or that you learn elsewhere, we encourage you to take some action to protect wild zebras. If you want to visit a zebra in captivity then we recommend that you do your research beforehand and choose somewhere that is supporting zebra conservation with its profits.
Our founder, Chad Killoran, has a website selling prints of his paintings. If you're interested you could buy a print of his Grevy's zebra painting, shown below, and a percentage of the profit goes towards the Grevy's Zebra Trust.
You could also help by shopping for other products which support Grevy's zebra conservation. The Grevy's Zebra Trust has an online shop selling beautiful kaftans and photography prints.
If you shop online with Amazon then you could use AmazonSmile. It's the same as Amazon only when you shop they donate a percentage of the profit to a charity you choose, at no extra cost to you! Go to the UK site or US site and you could choose the African Wildlife Foundation as your chosen charity if you want to help Grevy's zebras as well as other African wildlife.
One of the best ways to help is to spread the word about this page and what you've learnt about the challenges facing the Grevy's zebra. Awareness is the first step towards solving any problem!
There are currently no petitions that we know of specific to helping Grevy's zebras. If you know of any please get in contact to let us know. The following petitions are trying to create positive change for all wildlife:
Born Free's petition is urging countries to close down the legal practice of trophy hunting and asking for countries to stop allowing the importation of trophies from threatened species.
Global Deal for Nature's petition is appealing to world leaders to protect 50% of our lands and oceans.
#EndTheTrade Coalition's petition is calling on our world’s governments to permanently end the commercial trade and sale in markets of wild terrestrial animals worldwide.
The Grevy's Zebra Trust is a small organisation, the only of its kind focused solely on conserving the Grevy’s zebra. They are based in Kenya, employing 80 local people with 90% of their team employed from communities who live alongside the Grevy’s zebra. They try to find solutions to the threats listed above, which benefit both zebras and the people who share the same resources as them.
Lewa Wildlife Conservancy is a wildlife reserve in Northern Kenya, home to 12% of the Grevy's zebra population. They have made considerable progress to protect and increase this population. As well as this they have wildlife conservation projects for other species. In addition to these, they also have projects to improve local education, community health and water access. They have 10 lodges within the reserve for eco-tourism holidays.
African Wildlife Foundation is one of the principal organisations focused exclusively on conserving Africa's wildlife. They are working to help protect Grevy's zebras by employing technology for conservation and engaging wildlife scouts. Donations here will less directly benefit Grevy's zebras, as donations go towards a wide range of brilliant projects which improve conditions for all wildlife throughout Africa.
If you know of any more ways in which we can create a better future for the Grevy's zebra, or other conservation organisations you think we should highlight, then please get in contact with your suggestions!