Mountain Zebra

Mountain Zebra



Defenders of Wildlife
1130 17th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
Tel: 1-800-385-9712

defenders@mail.defenders.org

STATUS:
There are two subspecies of mountain zebra. Equus zebra is endangered and Equus zebra hartmannae is threatened.

DESCRIPTION:
Mountain zebras have black and white stripes all over their bodies except their stomachs, which are white. They have four one-toed hoofs. Their slender, pointed ears reach up to eight inches in length. Mountain zebras have manes of short hair that stick straight up from their necks. The stripes on their bodies continue to the mane. They also have a tuft of hair at the end of their tails.

SIZE:
Mountain zebras reach six to eight-and-a-half feet in length. Their tails are an additional one-and-a-half feet long. Mountain zebras weight between 530 and 820 pounds. They are four to five feet tall at the shoulder.  Equus zebra is generally larger than Equus zebra hartmannae.

POPULATION:
Equus zebra:  600-700 in the wild.

Equus zebra hartmannae:  8,000-13,000 in the wild.

LIFESPAN:
Members of the genus Equus (horses, donkeys and zebras) can live 25 to 45 years.

RANGE:
Mountain zebras occur in southwestern Africa. Equus zebra inhabits South Africa and Equus zebra hartmannae inhabits Namibia and Angola.

HABITAT:
The primary habitats of mountain zebras are the slopes and plateaus of mountainous regions. Mountain zebras inhabit elevations of up to 6,500 feet.

FOOD:
Mountain zebras feed on a variety of grasses.

BEHAVIOR:
Mountain zebras are most active in the early morning and late afternoon. They spend up to half of the daylight hours feeding. Mountain zebras live in herds consisting of one adult male (stallion), one to five adult females (mares) and their young. The stallion is the dominant member of the herd. Sometimes herds come together to form temporary groups of up to 30 members.

OFFSPRING:
Foals (young mountain zebras) weight 55 pounds at birth. Mares normally give birth to their first foal when they are between three and six years of. Normally they then give birth to one foal every one to three years until they are 24.

THREATS:
The spread of agriculture is one of the main threats to the mountain zebra. Their habitat is destroyed to make room for new farmland, and they are hunted and killed so that domestic livestock can graze on the land. Mountain zebras are also hunted for their skins.

PROTECTION:
Endangered Species Act. CITES*. Mountain Zebra National Park was established in South Africa for the preservation of Equus zebra.

*Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, an international treaty with more than 144 member countries. Appendix I listed species cannot be traded commercially. Appendix II listed species can be traded commercially only if it does not harm their survival.


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