The second edition of the national census of the endangered Grevy’s zebra, dubbed Great Grevy’s Rally (GGR), took place on January 27 and 28, 2018 in Laikipia, Isiolo and Samburu counties. The two-day photographic census is to monitor the status and health of the iconic mammal in Kenya. The count also included reticulated giraffe, another species whose population has declined greatly in the past three decades.
EAWLS team joined other participants at this year’s GGR and were at Ol Pejeta Conservancy where almost all Grevy’s zebra in the country are found. EAWLS wildlife programme profiles Grevy’s zebra as one of the priority species for conservation.
This year’s event brought together 118 teams comprising of conservancy managers, county government officials, community members, local residents, foreign visitors and conservationists who collectively drove over 25,000 kilometres and took over 40,000 photographs.
The event utilizes technology which can uniquely identify each zebra using the stripes in a photograph, much the same way we use fingerprints to identify individual humans. Analysing the photographs gives not just the population size but also age, sex and relative health of each animal. Kenya is home to over 90 per cent of the world’s remaining Grevy’s zebra, and the 2016 census found the population to be at 2,350.