First ever census

The country's first ever national census of the endangered Grevy's zebra is set for January 30 and 31.

This will be during the Great Grevy's Rally, an event whose aim is to record the number of individual Grevy's zebras and their distribution in northern Kenya.

Grevy's zebra on Mpala Conservancy in Laikipia. The first ever national Grevy's zebra census, the Great Grevy's Rally will be held on January 30 and 31, 2016. Photo taken on January 9, 2016. (PHOTO: FERDINAND MWONGELA / STANDARD)
"Thanks to the advancement in new technology, conservationists now have the opportunity to accurately assess the impact of their interventions by gathering critical demographic data through the Great Grevy's Rally.

"In addition to the total population size, we need to know the health of the populations observed by finding out their age and sex structure," said the organisers.

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Speaking in Laikipia over the weekend, Grevy's Zebra Trust Field Director Peter Lalampaa said the rally would go along way in aiding conservation efforts for the animal listed on Appendix I of CITES as an endangered animal.

Lalampaa said some of the reasons for the plight facing the Grevy's zebra include unplanned grazing, human settlement and exclusion from water points.

The exercise will be confined to northern Kenya, which is the Grevy's natural habitat with Laikipia being the southernmost tip where the Grevy's zebra can be found. Their population is concentrated Samburu – Laisamis – Baragoi axis with a few on the fringes in Kenya and Southern Ethiopia.

According to the Great Grevy's Rally organisers, it is estimated that in Kenya, there were as many as 15,000 individuals in the 1970s.

tourism and wildlifeGreat Grevy's Rally