Hartmann’s mountain zebra (Equus zebra hartmannae)

Conservation Status

Vulnerable (VU)

Physical Description

A large, striped member of the horse family with the background color of white and black to deep brown stripes which continue through the short, erect mane. The muzzle is black. Mountain zebras are good climbers with hard and pointed hooves. The most distinguishing characteristic is the presence of a dewlap, or fold of skin, hanging from the throat. Other characteristics that distinguish mountain zebras from Burchell’s zebra are: the dewlap, narrower and more numerous stripes on the head and body, broader stripes on the hindquarters with no “shadow” stripes, a “gridiron” pattern on the rump, white under-parts with a mid-ventral black stripe on the chest and belly, and large ears of more than 200 mm long.
Weight 240 - 372 kg
Size Head and body length of 210 to 260 cm
Lifespan (wild) 20+ years
Lifespan (captivity) 20 - 30 years

Behaviors

Social and Reproduction

Mountain zebras are social animals with populations made up of breeding herds and bachelor groups. Mountain zebras are non-territorial and breeding herds occupy home ranges with extensive overlap. The social hierarchies within a breeding herd include a dominant stallion with a linear hierarchy existing among mares of small herds. In larger herds, the social hierarchy is harder to determine because each herd member appears to know its relative position. Mountain zebras are predominately diurnal, mostly active in the early morning and late afternoon. Mountain zebras participate in mutual grooming for practical function and group cohesion and play patterns consisting of racing and chasing, challenge games and play-fighting. The surplus of stallions join bachelor groups and new breeding groups may be formed when a bachelor stallion obtains a young mare from a maternal herd or an older mare from a fragmented herd. Sometimes a dominant stallion is successfully driven away from his herd by a challenging stallion, and the herd is taken over as a unit by the newcomer. Males are capable of acquiring and holding a herd at 5 to 6 years of age and female mares first produce foals at 3 to 6 years of age. Mares try to expel their 14 to 16 month old foals from the maternal herd before the birth of a sibling.

Mating System Polygamy (Polyandry)
Breeding interval 1-3 years
Breeding season Yearly, with birth peaks from November to April
Gestation 12 months
Number of offspring 1

Habitat and Food

Habitat

Hartmann’s mountain zebra occupy the desert slopes and plateaus in an arid region of a mountainous transition zone on the edge of the Namib desert.

Food

Hartmann’s mountain zebra have a herbivorous diet consisting of grass and browse.

Predators

Known predators consist of lions, leopards, cheetahs, spotted hyenas, and hunting dogs.

Conservation Challenges

The entire species Equus zebra is listed as vulnerable and Hartmann’s mountain zebra is listed as threatened due to habitat loss and degradation, invasive alien species, harvesting, persecution due to competition with livestock for grazing, and restricted range.

Naankuse Solutions

Naankuse is committed to protecting the Hartmann’s mountain zebra population of Namibia through land conservation. Occasionally injured or orphaned zebra come into our care and undergo a rehabilitation and release process.

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Hartmann’s mountain zebra at Naankuse sites