Grant’s Zebra, Equus quagga boehmi
Grant’s zebra (Equus quagga boehmi) are among the six subspecies of the plains zebra, and the smallest of them. This zebra is from the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem. Its range extends from Zambia, west of the Luangwa River, west to Kariba, Shaba Province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Its northern range extends to Kibanzao Plateau. In Tanzania, its range extends from Nyangaui and Kibwezi in the north and south into southwestern Kenya and can go as far south as Sotik. Grant’s zebra can also be found in eastern Kenya as well as east of the Great Rift Valley into southernmost Ethiopia. It may also live near the Juba River in Somalia.
Unfortunately, human actions have caused some local populations to become small or extinct. Civil wars occurring in Rwanda, Ethiopia, Sudan, Somalia, and Uganda have caused Grant’s zebra, as well as other species, to have major population decline. In Burundi, Grant’s zebra is already extinct, and it is thought that the same has occurred in Angola due to civil war. Much of Angola’s national parks administration and structures have been destroyed, creating a devastating impact on the wildlife, but further study is needed to establish the status of these zebras. Grant’s zebra is sometimes killed to eliminate grazing competition for other cattle, and for their striped coats.
Grant’s zebra has vertical stripes running along its front, horizontally running stripes on its hind legs, and diagonal stripes on its backend and hind sides. Although shadow stripes are not completely visible or non-existent, the stripes and spaces between are distinct. Northern Grant’s zebras may not have manes. This zebra can grow to be 661.3 pounds at an average weight, and they can have a height ranging between 3.9 feet and 4.5 feet. They live in familial herds, led by an alpha stallion. The diet of Grant’s zebra consists of rough plains grasses, and they are resilient to diseases that kill other African cattle. They can live to be twenty years old.
The Upper Zambezi zebra (Equus quagga zambeziensis), recognized by Duncan in 1992, and the West Zambia and Malawi zebras, recognized by Groves and Bell in 2004, were found to have small differences from each other. However, these differences did not call for creating a separate subspecies, and so the zebras were placed with Grant’s zebra.
Image Caption: A Plains Zebra (also known as the Common Zebra) at Hell’s Gate National Park, Kenya. Credit: Joachim Huber/Wikipedia(CC BY-SA 2.0)