The Grevy's zebra is one of Africa's most endangered large mammals. The species has undergone one of the most substantial reductions of range of any African mammal. Historically found more widely across the Horn of African in Djibouti, Eritrea and Somalia, today, Grevy's zebra are considered locally extinct in those countries and are restricted to northern Kenya and three small pockets in Ethiopia. Grevy's zebra numbers have also declined rapidly. Towards the end of the 1970s, the global population of Grevy's zebra was estimated to be approximately 15,000 animals; present-day estimates indicate less than 2,500 animals remain representing a minimum of an 80% decline in global numbers over the past three decades.
Over 90% of Grevy's zebra are found in northern Kenya where nomadic pastoral communities continue their traditional practice of livestock herding, with both subsisting on scarce resources in a fragile ecosystem. The Grevy's Zebra Trust (GZT) was founded in January 2007 to conserve Grevy's zebra across its range in collaboration with local communities. Located in Kenya, with extension to Ethiopia, we recognise the critical role played by pastoral people whose livelihoods are inextricably linked to the same landscape.
The objectives of the Trust are: to secure and enhance access to critical resources for Grevy's zebra; to increase the protection of the remote and more severely threatened Grevy's zebra populations against poaching and persecution; to strengthen the national Grevy's zebra conservation programmes in Kenya and Ethiopia; to minimise the impact of disease outbreaks in wild populations of Grevy's zebra; and, to promote the education, training and employment opportunities within local communities.
One of the key objectives of GZT is the protection and monitoring of more remote Grevy's zebra populations against illegal killing and persecution particularly in areas where there has been little or no conservation investment. GZT established the Grevy's Zebra Ambassador Programme in the El Barta region in 2007, where killing for subsistence meat represents a major threat to the future of Grevy's zebra in this area. The Programme employs local community members in the capacity of full-time Ambassadors to provide protection, monitor the species, raise awareness, and develop a long-term community-led conservation programme for Grevy's zebra.
Specific project objectives are to:
• Increase the protection of Grevy's zebra populations against illegal killing and persecution through daily patrols, community dialogue, and communicating the conservation message through peace talks
• Monitor Grevy's zebra using community-based data collection
• Promote awareness and foster positive attitudes towards Grevy's zebra and other wildlife through conservation education activities
• Use the results of Grevy's zebra monitoring to inform local conservation action
The potential for population increase in El Barta is strong as grazing resources are adequate and with appropriate water management the long-term viability of this area for Grevy's zebra and other wildlife is extremely significant and brings with it important development opportunities for economically marginalized communities.
Project 0925273 location - Kenya, Africa