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Grant's Zebra

Grant's Zebra
File:Grants Zebra.jpg
At the Toledo Zoo
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Perissodactyla
Family: Equidae
Genus: Equus
Subgenus: Hippotigris
Species: E. quagga
Subspecies: E. q. boehmi
Trinomial name
Equus quagga boehmi
Matschie, 1892

The Grant's Zebra (Equus quagga boehmi) is the smallest of six subspecies of the Plains Zebra.



File:Grant's Zebras, resting, Serengeti.jpg
Female with foal, resting, Serengeti, Tanzania

The distribution of this subspecies is in Zambia west of the Luangwa river and west to Kariba, Shaba Province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, north to the Kibanzao Plateau. In Tanzania north from Nyangaui and Kibwezi into southwestern Kenya as far as Sotik. It can also be found in eastern Kenya and east of the Great Rift Valley into southernmost Ethiopia. Perhaps it also occurs as far as the Juba River in Somalia.

Upper Zambezi Zebras

Duncan (1992) recognized the Upper Zambezi Zebra (Equus quagga zambeziensis Prazak, 1898). Groves and Bell (2004) come to the conclusion that the zebras from West Zambia and Malawi cannot be distinguished cranially and that they differ only slightly from other northern plains zebras. The rather minor size difference does not justify a separate sub-specific status for the Upper Zambezi Zebra. Therefore, they combine these zebras with the Grant's Zebra (Equus quagga boehmi).


This northern subspecies is striped with white and black on a coat on its head, neck, flanks, haunches and whole of the limbs down to the hoofs. Shadow stripes are absent or only poorly expressed. The stripes, as well as the inner-spaces, are broad and well defined. Northerly specimens may lack a mane. This completely nameless Somali population may represent even a seventh subspecies: Equus quagga isabella (Ziccardi, 1958). This subspecies may be valid, but at present there is no evidence that it is.

Regional extinctions

Recent civil wars in Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan, Ethiopia, and Uganda have caused dramatic declines in all wildlife populations, including those of Grant’s zebra. It is now extinct in Burundi. Civil war in Angola during much of the past 25 years has devastated its wildlife populations, including its once-abundant plains zebra, and destroyed the national parks administration and infrastructure. Consequently, the Grant's Zebra is probably extinct or nearly so in Angola, although confirmation will have to wait until future surveys are conducted.



  • Duncan, P. (ed.). 1992. Zebras, Asses, and Horses: an Action Plan for the Conservation of Wild Equids. IUCN/SSC Equid Specialist Group. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.
  • Groves, C.P. & Bell, H.B. 2004. New investigations on the taxonomy of the zebras genus Equus, subgenus Hippotigris. Mammalian Biology. 69: 182-196.


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