Why Are Some Species of Zebra Endangered?


Quick Answer

Some species of zebra are endangered because so few of them remain, their habitat is rapidly decreasing and people hunt them. As of 2015, the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources lists the Grevy's zebra as endangered and the mountain zebra as vulnerable.

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Why Are Some Species of Zebra Endangered?
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Full Answer

The population of the Grevy's zebra is stable, but less than 2,500 of them remain, as of 2015. This is in contrast to an estimated population of 15,000 in the 1970s. Habitat loss is the most serious threat to the survival of the Grevy's zebra overall. Drought, overgrazing and competition with livestock for the available water resources limit food supply, which has a negative impact on the survival of the young. There is also an increase in disease transmission due to many animals congregating at the few available water sources.

Grevy's zebras live in the horn of Africa, primarily in Kenya and Ethiopia. In Ethiopia, hunting is the main threat to Grevy's zebras. Hunters value their skins, but sometimes hunters kill Grevy's zebras for food or medicinal purposes.

Conservation groups, such as Grevy's Zebra Trust, work to protect and monitor these endangered zebras. Planned livestock grazing helps restore habitat, and water management during the dry season helps conserve the available water resources.

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