Existance of Burchells Zebra

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by Diamondhitch, Jun 12, 2012.

  1. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    I have done alot of reading and found much, often conflicting, information on this subject. Currently all plains Zebra (Grants, Chapman, Selous, Crawshay, Damara?, and Burchell) are collectively referred to as Burchells Zebra. Equus Burchelli (true Burchells Zebra) are said to have been extinct in 1918, restocked by Chapmans Zebra brought in from the north. Recent reports have indicated that there are isotated populations of true Burchells zebra still existing in KZN. Yet other reports indicate that Damara Zebra and Burchells Zebra are so closely related as to be the same species. I can find little info on Damara Zebra at all, are they another name for Chapmans Zebra? Selous Zebra? What is one to beleive? The coloration of Burchells Zebra is distinct and the foals of true Burchells Zebra are supposedly born brown and later develop stripes later on, unlike other sub-species of palins Zebra.

    Here is a tiny sample of the multidude of conflicting info (mis-info) out there on this subject.
    Plains Zebra (Equus quagga) | Wildliferanching.com
    Burchell's zebra - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Burchell's Zebra - Back from the Brink of Extinction, But for How Long? - pictures and facts

    Burchell
    Burchell's zebra (600 x 400).jpg

    Chapman
    Chapmans Zebra.jpg

    Anyone with info or opinions? Jaco, maybe this one is right up your alley.
     
  2. Wolverine67

    Wolverine67 AH Fanatic

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    Well I thought Burchells zebra was the old name on plains zebra (equus quagga).
     
  3. Cliffy

    Cliffy AH Elite

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    This will be interesting to read but it is way beyond me for input
     
  4. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    Quagga was another species, now extinct, from the western cape and western - east cape.
     
  5. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    For this to go anywhere you had better use scientific titles.
    "Ever seen a Cougar?" "No, but I saw a mountain lion last week."

    Cross breeding, in breeding, extirpation. Cape Mountain and the Quagga name shuffle.

    Wonder if there is a biologist with a better history lesson to share with us.
     
  6. Wolverine67

    Wolverine67 AH Fanatic

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    I am aware of the extinct quagga. But to make the confusion bigger, the latin name of the common plains zebra or its previous name,burchells, are equus quagga!

    Edit: quote from wikipedia: "The plains zebra (Equus quagga, formerly
    Equus burchelli), also known as the
    common zebra or Burchell's zebra"
     
  7. Wolverine67

    Wolverine67 AH Fanatic

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    They changed the name because it was commonly thought that the real Burchells zebra ( a subspecie of the plains zebra)was extinct as well. But as the threadstarter point out, they are not sure anymore. This is exactly why scientists dont like the subspecie term.
     
  8. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    I think scientists just like to refute each other, it keeps them employed.
     
  9. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    Lets assume the scientific names quoted in the 1st link posted are correct and that the distribution list is as well. It has the most comprehensive descriptions and info for each. We can whittle down the BS from there.

    I think most who know anything about this are fast asleep half way around the world right now. Hopefully we will get some good input when they get up and at em.
     
  10. BryceM

    BryceM AH Veteran

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    If you think this is nuts, try doing research into plant taxonomy. Vast numbers of plants are completely reclassified every few years. In our little scientific endeavors to lump and split, there are often huge grey areas. Zebras are for the most part black and white (pun intended), but their taxonomy obviously isn't. About the only thing that seems to be clear is that the Hartmann's or mountain zebra seems to be more or less well defined as a species. As far as I can tell, everything else usually gets lumped into the Burchell's category. I'm no zebra expert, but I did get to shoot a nice Hartmann's in Namibia last month. :)

    An even deeper question is white-on-black, or black-on-white????? ;)
     
  11. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    I used to be into fish (South and Central American Cichlids to be precice) and was amazed at how many times the scientific names changed as they were tossed around from one genus to another. Makes you wonder if they know what they are doing at all.

    2nd Question : Definitely Black on white :D
     
  12. Cliffy

    Cliffy AH Elite

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    Even I have done some research and have found the following to indicate the "Plains" zebra population is very hard to differentiate among subspecies.


    Taxonomy [top]

    Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
    ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA PERISSODACTYLA EQUIDAE

    Scientific Name: Equus quagga
    Species Authority: Boddaert, 1785
    Infra-specific Taxa Assessed:
    See Equus quagga ssp. quagga
    Common Name/s:
    English Plains Zebra, Burchell's Zebra, Common Zebra, Painted Zebra
    Synonym/s:
    Equus burchelli (Gray, 1824) [orth. error]
    Equus burchellii
    Equus burchellii Schinz, 1845
    Taxonomic Notes: The Plains Zebra exhibits a morphological and genetic cline from north to south across its range (Groves and Bell 2004, Lorenzen 2008). Research has now firmly established that the Extinct Quagga is a subspecies of the Plains Zebra (Rau 1978, Higuchi et al. 1984, George and Ryder 1986, Leonard et al. 2005). However, this view is in opposition to some morphological evidence (e.g., Bennett 1980, Klein and Cruz-Uribe 1999).

    Groves and Bell (2004) recognized six subspecies, based on coat patterns, skull metrics, and the presence or absence of a mane and of the infundibulum on the lower incisors (intergrades are observed). A recent genetic study analyzed 17 Plains Zebra populations, representing five of the six subspecies recognized by these authors (Lorenzen et al. 2008). The study found very little differentiation among populations. In fact, populations across the entire species distribution range were less differentiated than Namibian populations of Hartmann's Mountain Zebra. The five sampled Plains Zebra subspecies, which included the extinct Quagga, could not be distinguished with the genetic markers used and no genetic structuring was found indicative of distinct taxonomic units. The molecular data represented a genetic cline and was differentiated along an east-to-south gradient in agreement with the progressive increase in body size and reduction in stripes towards the south. This is consistent with the overlapping morphological parameters and geographical distribution of subspecies reported in literature. Hence, the subspecies splits based on the morphological cline may be arbitrary, but are useful from a management perspective.
    Assessment Information [top]

    Geographic Range [top]

    Range Description: Plains Zebra range from southern Sudan and southern Ethiopia, east of the Nile River, to southern Angola and northern Namibia and northern South Africa (formerly ranging south of the Orange and Vaal Rivers to the Cape) (Hack et al. 2002; Klingel in press). They are now extinct in two countries in which they formerly occurred: Burundi and Lesotho. There is no information on their status in Angola, where they may also be extinct.

    The six morphologically defined subspecies are distributed as follows (following Groves and Bell 2004, and Klingel in press):

    E. q. crawshaii(Crawshay's Zebra) occurs in Zambia, east of the Luangwa River, Malawi, south-eastern Tanzania from Lake Rukwa east to Mahungoi, and Mozambique as far south as the Gorongoza district;

    E. q. borensis ranges in north-west Kenya, from Guas ngishu and Lake Baringo, to the Karamoja district of Uganda and south-east Sudan, east of the Nile River to the northern limit of the species at 32ï½°N;

    E. q. boehmi (Grant's Zebra or Boehm's Zebra) is found in Zambia, west of the Luangwa River, west to Kariba, Shaba Province of DR Congo north to Kibanzao Plateau; Tanzania north from Nyangaui and Kibwezi into south-west Uganda, south-west Kenya as far as Sotik, and east Kenya, east of the Rift Valley, into southern Ethiopia and perhaps to the Juba River in Somalia.

    E. q. chapmani (Chapman's Zebra) ranges from north-east South Africa, from about 24ï½°S, 31ï½°E, north to Zimbabwe, west into Botswana at about 19ï½°S, 24ï½°E, the Caprivi Strip in Namibia, and southern Angola;

    E. q. burchellii (Burchell's Zebra) formerly occurred north of the Vaal/Orange Rivers, extending north-west via southern Botswana to Etosha National Park and the Kaokoveld, south-east to KwaZulu-Natal and Swaziland. It is now extinct in the middle of its range. E.b. antiquorum is now included in this subspecies;

    E. q. quagga (Quagga) occurred in the former Cape Province, south of the Orange and Vaal Rivers and west of the Drakensberg. Now extinct.
    Countries:
    Native:
    Botswana; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Ethiopia; Kenya; Malawi; Mozambique; Namibia; Rwanda; Somalia; South Africa; Sudan; Swaziland; Tanzania, United Republic of; Uganda; Zambia; Zimbabwe
    Possibly extinct:
    Angola
    Regionally extinct:
    Burundi; Lesotho
    Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.
     
  13. Ivan Carter

    Ivan Carter AH Senior Member

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    there is a commonly used phrase in the scientific world ...publish or perish ..and you can divide scientists into two distinct groups , the "lumpers" and the "splitters"...lumpers are scientists who believe that animals should be "lumped" into the same family , while splitters , often in a bid to have their names recognised , want to split families into as many splinters as possible , if you look up the difference between many of the zebras identified by the "splitters" you will see things like ..striped down the legs , no stripe down the legs etc etc , and very often when you get into a place with a significant number of the animals you can actually see representation of several "different zebra" all in the same herd... thus the info out there will conflict based on who write it , , as previously mentioned , the plant world is the same way as is the bird world and by far the worst is the insect world and microorganisms ...

    thats one of the great things about the outdoors , there is always something new being discovered and always new ideas on why things happen the way that they do ...
     
  14. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    'Publish or perish' definitely sounds like the catalyst of much of the confusion and contradicting info found online in this case.

    One of the things thats difficult to swallow. When 2 different 'sub-species' who are capable of interbreeding are separated by geography then, given enough time, it seems far more likely they would evolve on their own path from the point that they split from the main population on. However 'Sub-species' that directly abutt each other that are capable of interbreeding seem destined to do just that eliminating any chance of forming a distinct and true sub-species yet most if not all plains Zebra 'sub-species' fall into this later catagory, identified by no more than regional variances.
     
  15. Bobpuckett

    Bobpuckett GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Wow this forum is great you learn something new everyday. I never thought about all the Sub-species you never hear to much about them its always Mountain Zebra or Burchells Zebra, good topic.
     
  16. Black Fly

    Black Fly New Member

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    It would take a mammalogist who specializes in the zebra's to clarify this one, but it sure is interesting. There has been a lot of work in the past few years defining the species by genetic's rather than physical traits. I've worked with mosquitoes and black flies primarily. In an effort to more correctly define species, some of the old ones that seemed to look a bit different from each other have been combined as one species, in other cases, there are some old species that look an awful lot alike that are now split into two or more species. In a few cases, the genus has been changed as well. Science changes naming and relationships between organisms as knowledge increases. I suspect the same things are going on in mammoloy. In the mammal world, the animals that we hunters consider different species are often just variants of the same species, such as color phases or local phyisologic variants. Dogs are the typical example that comes to mind. A Labrador and a toy terrier are the same species, but they sure look different. I'm curious if we have any mammologists here who are up to date on zebra speciation.
    Bfly
     
  17. 35bore

    35bore AH Elite

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    Guess genetics are interesting to the interested. When i go back to Africa, Zebra is on the list maybe 2 of them. I don't need to know if it's a mountain Zebra or a Burchells Zebra, Boddington Zebra, hell call it a St. Louis zoo Zebra, I don't care... If I kill it in Africa then I got a Zebra (I guess I am a lumper, as Ivan categorized it, very well I might add). My wife has a bachlors in Biology and the stuff drives me nuts. Like reinventing the wheel all the time.

    As far as the comparison to dogs and the different breeds, as she states dogs were bred and cross bred all the time, by man, to develope what we desired. There is a huge difference in a Great Dane and a Cockapoo, yet they are all still dogs. Same as the "Antelope" in Africa, they are all Antelope, just some are obviously larger and some smaller.

    A guy could fill his trophy room with one of each of the "sub species" Whitetail alone. I personally think Ivan is dead on, scientist have to Prove that they are worth their salt, so they catagorize these animals into different sub-species.

    We are all human, some black some white, some yellow and even gingers, in the end we are all human... My 2 cents.
     
  18. Wolverine67

    Wolverine67 AH Fanatic

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    Whats the trophy price for zebra at Saint Louis zoo....:biggrin2:

    Seriously, its us hunters wich are most eager to take all of the so called subspecies.
     
  19. 35bore

    35bore AH Elite

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    Guessing it would be a steep trophy fee/fine:D Holy crap, imagine the fine:nailbiter:

    I'm also guessing you are right, but really, where does it end? I (personally) don't need 4-5 different "kinds" of Kudu.
     
  20. Upton O. Good

    Upton O. Good AH Veteran

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    When I was finishing my bachelors degree in zoology, I remember my ecology professor referring to "lumpers" and "splitters". He said splitters were taxonomists, all other biologists were lumpers.
     

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