Estimation of population size of the flagship species of Burchell's zebra (Equus quagga) in southern Great Rift Valley, Africa
Keywords:African biodiversity, Conservation challenges, Nech Sar National Park, Plains zebra, Wildlife management
Burchell's zebra (Equus quagga) is one of the most abundant ungulates and a useful model for the conservation and management of the other equids in Africa. This study aims to determine the population status of flagship Burchell's zebra of the Nech Sar National Park, in the Great Rift Valley of Ethiopia. Population estimates of such wild animals were conducted with the line-transect method, and a GPS was used to walk along transects. The results have shown that a total of 155 individual Burchell's zebras had been counted and the population density was 8.34/km2. The age ratio of adults to young was 1:0.65. The most significant observed challenges of the plains zebra are the invasion of the alien exotic woody species on the plain grasslands, agricultural expansion, degradation of grazing lands, clearing forests, charcoal production, and the park management-settler conflict. Unless and otherwise such threats immediately reversed and resolved, will put in danger of the conservation status of the flagship species of Burchell's zebra and other wildlife species dwelling in the southern Great Rift Valley.
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