KENYA'S NATIONAL STRATEGY
The sustained decline in Grevy’s zebra numbers and range has been a major concern to stakeholders in Grevy’s zebra conservation in Kenya. It was recognised that the conservation of Grevy’s zebra and its semi-arid ecosystem in Kenya and Ethiopia will require commitment and coordination among all stakeholders to ensure the future survival of this species. This led to the formation of a Grevy’s Zebra Task Force chaired by the Kenya Wildlife Service to coordinate Grevy’s zebra conservation efforts in Kenya. A major output of its meetings was the need to develop a national Grevy’s zebra conservation strategy. The Task Force has since evolved into the Grevy’s Zebra Technical Committee which provides guidance to ongoing and proposed Grevy’s zebra research and conservation efforts. The following organisations sit on the Technical Committee:
- African Wildlife Foundation
- Denver Zoo
- Earthwatch Institute
- Grevy's Zebra Trust
- Kenya Wildlife Service
- Lewa Wildlife Conservancy
- Marwell Wildlife
- Northern Rangelands Trust
- Princeton University
The strategy was officially launched by the Kenya Wildlife Service on 25 June 2008. The week prior to this a Grevy's Zebra Celebration Day was held at Kalama Community Wildlife Conservancy where communities from all around joined in to celebrate the conservation of their flagship species. The event was televised across the country helping to raise awareness in Kenyans and raise the national profile of the species.
Those taking conservation action on the ground, particularly local communities who are the major stakeholder across the species’ range, were responsible for developing and endorsing the strategy. The implementing structure identified during this process reflects this emphasis with field site committees forming the foundation of conservation management for the species.
Unlike other species, baseline data for setting measurable targets at a national level are not available. Because of the diversity of threats facing different sub-populations of Grevy’s zebra, knowledge of numbers and monitoring these trends across their entire range is currently limited. It was therefore agreed by stakeholders that qualitative targets would initially be set. Information is currently being gathered to provide this critical baseline information for different populations.
The vision of this strategy is to have viable and sustainable Grevy's zebra populations and their habitats for present and future generations. Its goal is to mitigate the threats and reverse the decline in Grevy's zebra, and work towards fostering ecological, socio-cultural and economic sustainability within their natural range.
This vision and goal will be achieved through nine Strategic Objectives that focus on mitigating the threats to Grevy’s zebra survival, increasing their numbers, and building a solid foundation upon which to sustain Grevy’s zebra conservation in the long-term.