The Grévy’s Zebra Project Sarah Stroud, GZ intern summer 2010

The Grévy’s Zebra Project
Sarah Stroud, GZ intern summer 2010
Background on the species
• For the majority of my stay in Kenya, I was
located in Wamba at an Earthwatch research
center. Grévy’s are numerous in this area.
• There are three species of Zebra, of which
Grevy’s are the largest (and arguably cutest)
• They’re endangered—there are fewer than
2500 left at last count.
The problem
• Grévy’s primarily compete with livestock for
water and grazing land. Based only on my
rough estimate, there are probably ten
sheep/goats and cows per household in the
• Grévy’s are also easier prey for lions than
Plains Zebra because they adopt a fight
instead of flight strategy (which is what the
Plains Zebra choose).
Steps toward a solution
• While I was there, the African Wildlife
Foundation primarily used line transects
(walking a line between two GPS points and
taking a census of all animals seen) and a
Grévy’s-only census taken from a moving
vehicle to estimate the number of the species
left in any of several reserves in central Kenya.
What next?
• While both of those techniques are useful for
determining the population of an endangered
species, what’s important now is collaboration
with agencies working to bring water into the
• Educating families in the area about more
efficient and sustainable grazing practices is
also essential.