Animal conservationists around the world are excited and encouraged by the recent discovery of a Zebra migration record set in Africa. According to a Wednesday report on Newsmax.com, researchers have used collars to track a 300-mile zebra migration between the African nations of Namibia and Botswana for two years in a row. The study was conducted jointly by World Wildlife Fund, Namibia's Ministry of Environment and Tourism and Elephants Without Borders.
Interestingly, only female zebras were collared because the male animals are more prone to remove their collars en route to their destination. The collaring methods are considered to be humane, and the data discovered is very useful toward understanding the migration habits of zebras and other animals. This discovery places special emphasis on the protection of wildlife corridors such as this one in the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA).
The zebras were monitored every 4-5 hours as they made the journey south which took around 15 days. According to CBS News, the zebras took the scenic route by home, covering 400 miles in 85 days. Oddly, there were locations along the way that had some of the same characteristics as their destination, yet, they journeyed on. Although water is always a consideration in an animal’s migratory pattern, it appears it may not be the sole motivation in the case of the zebras of Africa.
The animals’ movement may possibly be genetically coded, but much more research is necessary to determine whether this is true. The study lead, Robin Naidoo, discussed previous research recorded in 2008 that described zebra migration in Botswana being interrupted for 40 years due to the construction of a fence. When the fence was removed, the migratory pattern re-emerged.
It is a fascinating and amazing concept to think of “conserved memory of an ancient route that may be genetically encoded,” as Naidoo described it. What an endless mystery our universe presents. How deeply detailed and minutely designed is every aspect of our world. This new zebra migration record is quite encouraging when looking at the overall conservation of wildlife across the globe.