Focussing on the subtropical plains zebra

The subtropical plains zebra, currently included in subspecies burchellii of Equus quagga, narrowly escaped extermination in what is now Hluhluwe-imfolozi Park in Zululand ( and

From this source, the subtropical plains zebra has been reintroduced to other reserves in Zululand.

The special interest (please see several recent Posts) is that here we have the only surviving population formerly in contact with the extinct quagga (Equus quagga quagga). Given the genetic intergradation implied by this contact, it is here that we should seek founders for any attempt to retrieve phenotypic features of the extinct quagga.

It is remarkable, given the distance involved, that the tropical population of the plains zebra in and near Etosha National Park so resembles the subtropical plains zebra that it is called the same subspecies. The geographical disjunction is so great that we cannot assume that the genotypes are the same.

Yes, I am suggesting that the subtropical and tropical populations of what is currently called E. q. burchellii are geographically distant enough to have different genotypes despite their similar phenotypes.

In the context of this renewed interest in the subtropical plains zebra, I have chosen the following photos - all from Zululand - to show the appearance. Please bear in mind that the individual variation is far greater than that shown by this limited sample.

The following is also of interest:

Publicado por milewski milewski, 10 de septiembre de 2021


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