Burchell’s Zebra, Equus quagga burchellii
Burchell’s Zebra,is a southern subspecies of the plains zebra. It is named after the British explorer and naturalist William John Burchell. Common names include the Bontequagga, Damaraland zebra, and Zululand zebra . Burchell’s zebra is the only subspecies of zebra which may be legally farmed for human consumption.
Like most plains zebras, Burchells live in small family groups. These can be either harem or bachelor groups, with harem groups consisting of one stallion and one to six mares and their most recent foals, and bachelor groups containing two to eight unattached stallions. The males in bachelor herds are often the younger or older stallions of the population, as they are most likely not experienced enough or strong enough to defend breeding rights to a group of females from challengers. These small groups often congregate together in larger herds around water and food sources, but still, maintain their identity as family units while in the population gatherings.
Formerly, the Burchell’s zebra range was centered north of the Vaal/Orange river system, extending northwest via southern Botswana to Etosha and the Kaokoveld, and southeast to Swaziland and KwaZulu-Natal. Now extinct in the middle portion, it survives at the northwestern and southeastern ends of the distribution.
Burchell’s zebra migrates the longest distance of any terrestrial animal in Africa, traveling 160 miles one way.
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