Area of Study
Science and Mathematics
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The Grevy’s zebra, a highly endangered equid, has undergone the most dramatic reduction in population of any African mammal. The cause of this decline is largely unknown. Over the last 100 years, Kenya has undergone many changes in land use practice and policy that have lead to high densities of people and livestock in close proximity to wildlife. Recent studies suggest these increases in human population and livestock pressure in overgrazed areas have negatively shifted the diet of this the Grevy’s zebra. Using stable isotope analysis, this study proposes to create a dietary timeline to examine changes in zebra diet over the last century in conjunction with changes in land management in Kenya. It is expected that intensification of land use and livestock presence over time have contributed to a decline in the proportion of grass (zebra’s preferred food type) that makes up the zebra’s diet. In conjunction with both observational and isotopic data from modern Grevy’s samples, this project will contribute information that can be used in understanding the conservation of this species.
Olszewski, Susan, "Dietary Ecology of the Endangered Grevy's Zebra, Equus grevyi, in Historic and Modern Laikipia" (2011). Summer Research. 82.
University of Puget Sound