The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in Kenya is a national leader in the protection of many of Africa’s iconic animal species. Lewa currently hosts more than 300 resident Grevy’s Zebra, a whopping 12% of the remaining population in East Africa. This sub-population of Grevy’s has become a focal point in Lewa’s research which has contributed to improving the long term national strategy plan. Earlier this spring a monumental field mission took place, Marwell Wildlife conservation biologist Dr. Zeke Davidson set out with a team from Lewa and KWS staff in an effort to attach radio collars to a undocumented sub-population of Grevy’s Zebra.
The expedition was a resounding success:
“Prior to this mission, only anecdotal evidence existed of individuals in this area. Now however, after successfully collaring two females, a crucial step towards understanding connectivity between all sub-populations in northern Kenya has been taken. Even more encouraging is the healthy status of the individuals encountered during the dry season. Despite very limited natural resources in an ecosystem shared with livestock and pastoral people, Grevy’s zebras appear to make the most of their environment by eating shrubs along with grasses (An adaption which equips them for desert living) and migrating long distances to reach water (they can go 4 – 5 days without drinking).”
Lewa continues to contribute its research findings on existing Grevy’s settlements towards a collaborative data compiling effort that includes all non-profit organizations in Northern Kenya. The increased communication between various institutions is an exciting step forward in the effectiveness of conservation efforts. Continued donations have allowed Lewa to carry out these projects and become one of the most influential leaders in the protection of iconic African species.