Conservation status

Near Threatened

Life span

Up to 25 years


About 4.5 feet (1.5 meters) tall


2.4 - 2.7 m


550 to 7000 pounds (250 kilograms to 300 kilograms)

Native habitat

Grasslands of East Africa to the scrubby woodlands of southern Africa



Equus quagga


There are three different species of Zebra (Plains, mountain, and Grevy’s zebras). Each species has different types of stripes from narrow to wide. Each zebra has a unique stripe pattern. Among all zebra species, the Grevy’s zebra is the largest. They have the thinnest stripes, extending all the way down to their white belly on the hindquarters the stripes are vertical until above the hind legs. A mountain zebra has vertical stripes on the neck and torso and a gridiron pattern on the rump. The white underside has a dark stripe that runs the length of the belly and they have a unique dewlap on the throat. The plains zebra is the smallest species, and some have a stripe pattern different from all others, brownish “shadow” stripes between the black stripes on their coat. Zebras have excellent hearing and eyesight and can run at speeds of up to 35 miles per hour (56 kilometers per hour). Their powerful kick can cause serious injuries to a predator. Zebras are generally thought to have white coats with black stripes. Stripes provide a kind of protection for zebras. They live in small family groups called “harems.” These groups consist of one stallion, several mares, and their offspring.


Habitat loss and competition with livestock, poaching, and disease are the main threats for zebras. Due to the anthrax outbreaks, Grevy’s zebra population has been declined drastically. Many conservation groups are working to preserve the population. Set aside safe space for wildlife such as wildlife corridors and promote sustainable livestock management are some conservation efforts ongoing for the conservation of plain zebras. Your support for conservation organizations, learning and sharing your knowledge about threatened species with others, eco-friendly practices are some of the ways you can contribute to conservation efforts.