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Maneless zebra (Equus quagga borensis) breeding program in Europe

Discussion in 'Europe - General' started by Jana, 2 Jul 2020.

  1. Jana

    Jana Well-Known Member 15+ year member

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    Due to very little interest in keeping of Maneless zebras from side of EAZA and european zoos, Czech and Slovak zoos have agreed to run their own managed breeding program some time ago. Local zoos are phasing out other zebra subspecies to dedicate more available space for Maneless zebras. In whole Europe less than 40 of these zebras survive. That is too low to keep them long-term so this is a last attempt to build a sustainable captive population.

    Wild Maneless zebras survive only in Uganda, with estimated population of 100-400 spread over several parks.

    Who keeps maneless zebras:

    Dvůr Králové - this zoo organized the initial catch and importation of founding animals from Africa in 1969 and has kept an internal studbook of all plain zebras in Czechoslovakia ever since. Breeds them uninterrupted for 50 years. Altogether only 10 of the wild-caught zebras have become founders of whole today´s zoo population.

    Liberec and Zlín - both have them for a long time, but have just small breeding herds (1-3 mares).

    Prague - keeps a small herd since 2018 when it phased out their Grant's zebras.

    Košice - started with a bachelor herd in 2019, very important step to increase spare capacity for stallions so that other zoos can exchange them more frequently.

    Bojnice - just now phased out Chapmans and replaced them with 1,1 Maneless zebras from Poland (Borysew).

    Plzeň - plans to phase out their Chapmans and start a larger breeding herd.

    Brno - plans to replace Chapmans and start with Maneless zebras.

    Edit - could a mod correct my typo in the thread headline?
     
    Last edited: 2 Jul 2020
  2. Jurek7

    Jurek7 Well-Known Member 15+ year member

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    Wow, I did not know they are so rare. It is much less than Grevy's zebras, black rhinos and many other high-profile zoo animals.
     
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  3. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member 10+ year member

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  4. Jana

    Jana Well-Known Member 15+ year member

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    Liberec just saw a birth of a little mare to an older mare that failed to get pregnant for 11 long years. The young maneless zebra was very small by birth with just 20kg but now is doing better and gaining weight.

    The zoo issued a press article about the birth with some current info about Maneless zebra program: currently the European population has 44 animals in 10 zoos. Around half of them is too old, has health issues or other problems and is unable to breed. The effective population is little over 20 animals.
    Article
     
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  5. Zorro

    Zorro Well-Known Member 5+ year member

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    Are there any more captive outside of Europe. Also would importing from Africa be possible?.
     
  6. Jana

    Jana Well-Known Member 15+ year member

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    No captive animals live outside Europe. Import from Uganda (wild-caught) into the EU is impossible, no way to get an EU import vet certificate.
     
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  7. Zorro

    Zorro Well-Known Member 5+ year member

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    @Jana Would it be possible to collect semen from wild stallions for doing captive AI work something like what happened using African elephant bulls with captive cows?
     
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  8. Jana

    Jana Well-Known Member 15+ year member

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    I´m not sure but probably not. EU has blank prohibition of import of ruminants from Uganda, I would guess it includes their semen.
     
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  9. Jana

    Jana Well-Known Member 15+ year member

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    Time for updates. This zebra subspecies is known in zoo setting for its aggresivity and other problems so it´s a mix of good and bad news.

    The breeding program has been changed into full EEP.

    Number of holders has decreased (from 10 to 9) and the zoo population is barely stagnating.

    Dvur Kralove - its usual breeding group got rather small, according to its latest annual report had only 4.4 at the end of year 2022. It saw 4 births but only 1 male baby survived and one mare died due to birthing complications. Two mares were sent to Košice but only one arrived alive.

    Zlín - gave up this species.

    Liberec - keeps its usual small breeding herd and saw at least 1 birth in February 2023. In year 2022, it started with 2.6 zebras, saw no births, sent 1.1 zebras to Givskud but the stallion died en-route, and sent one mare to Košice.

    Prague - gave up this species, all zebras (1.2) went to Plzen in 2023.

    Košice - changed their setup from bachelor group to breeding herd. Two out of three resident stallions went to Debrecen in 2023 (that created new bachelor herd for EEP). And 2 mares arrived in 2022 from Liberec and Dvur Kralove and another 2 from Plzen in 2023.

    Bojnice - their resident pair got a baby in 2023 but it died during birth (water inhalation). The mare has now large hernia and is probably not intended to be bred ever again.

    Plzeň - it started year 2023 with just 2 mares (both late stage pregnant). The original stallion was sent to Givskud in 2022 because of aggresivity (towards other zebras as well as antelopes). It saw 2 births and both survived and are female. Plzen received a 1.2 group from Prague in May but sent those 2 new mares to Košice in November and integrated only the stallion with the resident mares.

    Brno - still keeps only Chapmans and doesnt look like it wants to phase them out anymore.

    Source as well as relevant annual reports and media.
     
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  10. FBBird

    FBBird Well-Known Member 10+ year member

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    I thought Colchester Zoo had a small group of Maneless Zebras, which to me are remarkably unattractive animals…..
     
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  11. Tim May

    Tim May Well-Known Member 15+ year member Premium Member

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    Yes Colchester does have maneless zebras.

    I agree with you about their unattractiveness; other forms of plains zebra look much more appealing to me. Nevertheless I always enjoy seeing Colchester's maneless zebras as their rarity makes them extremely interesting; they are the only ones I've seen outside the Czech Republic.
     
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  12. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member 15+ year member

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    Apparently only two left now(?). and yes, a third vote for unattractiveness...they look 'unfinished'.
     
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