Hartmans Mountain Zebra

Hartmans Mountain Zebra.


Name

Hartman's Mountain Zebra (Equus zebra hartmannae)

Appearance

There is no significant difference between the sexes, except that the stallions are heavier at and average of 298 kg, compared to the 276 kg of mares. Adult stallions over seven years of age, can weigh as much as 343 kg. Adult stallions are 1.5 m at the shoulders, with a tail length of 500 mm and ears 280 mm long. In order to cope with the attrition of rocky terrain, the hooves of this species grows extremely fast. The difference between this specie and the Cape Mountain Zebra is mainly only in size, the latter being slightly smaller. There is a trend for the the light stripes of the Hartmann's zebra to be wider than that of the Cape Mountain species.

Diet

Like all equids, this is a grazer which spends the best part of a day feeding. The grazing pattern tends to follow the contours of the terrain, along which the grazing progression tends to be in a zig-zag forward pattern.

Breeding

This is not a seasonal breeder since foals can be born the year round, although there tends to be a peak during the rainy season. Mares foal for the first time at the age of three years. Foals weigh about 25 kg at birth. Gestation period is about 12 months. Foals have a high survival rate, probably since adults in the herd actively defend them against predators. Stallions become sexually active at about three years of age.

Behaviour

Within a population there are two distinct social groups, namely breeding herds and bachelor groups. Breeding groups consist of a single stallion with a number of mares, the latter with a distinct social hierarchy.

Habitat

As intoned by the vernacular name, the Hartman's mountain zebra is adapted to rugged, broken mountain escarpments, where herds rely on areas with permanent water sources and sufficient variety and quantities of grass fodder to sustain breeding populations.

Where they are found

This equid is found in the western semi-arid regions of Namibia, from where it also ranges into Angola.  It has a discontinues distribution from the Kunene Province southwards and somewhat eastwards, as illustrated on the distribution map. Presently the population is estimated at 13 000.

Life Cycle

Weaning
10 months
Sexual Maturity
2 years
Life span
At least 25 years
Status
The Hartman's Mountain Zebra as a species is classified as endangered, with both E. z. hartmannae and E. z. zebra falling under this same classification.

Field Notes

There is a strong line of thought by some conservationists that the Cape Mountain Zebra and the Hartman's Mountain Zebra should be separate species due to the habitat differentiation but genetics proves that the two are very closely linked.



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