Minister Edna Molewa publishes the Biodiversity Management Plan for the Cape Mountain Zebra in South Africa for public participation

06 December 2016


The Minister of Environmental Affairs Dr Edna Molewa has published the draft Biodiversity Management Plan (BMP) for the Cape Mountain Zebra (scientifically known as Equus zebra zebra) for public comment on Friday 02 December 2016 in Government Gazette No 404644, in terms of section 43(3) read with section 100 of the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act, 2004 (Act No. 10 of 2004).

Cape Mountain Zebra is a subspecies that is endemic to South Africa. In August 2015, the population of Cape Mountain Zebra comprised a minimum of around 4 800 individuals in no less than 75 subpopulations that are well distributed over the historical range of the subspecies.  As a result, the Cape Mountain Zebra is no longer threatened with extinction, having recently been assessed as Least Concern in accordance with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.

The BMP provides a new approach to the management of the Cape Mountain Zebra, following the adoption of South Africa’s proposal to have the subspecies transferred from Appendix I to Appendix II at the recent 17th Conference of Parties (COP17) to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in Johannesburg.

“The Cape Mountain Zebra is well protected in state-owned protected areas. The two original subpopulations in Mountain Zebra National Park and Karoo National Park have doubled since 2004.  The national population has increased steadily since the early 1990s, with the annual rate of increase from 2009 to 2015 measured at just over 9%,” said Minister Molewa during the CITES conference.

The BMP aims for an increasing, genetically healthy meta-population, supporting sustainable off-takes with an increased conservation value and private sector investment in Cape Mountain Zebra. Furthermore, the BMP identifies actions to be undertaken by a number of stakeholders to ensure the long term survival of the subspecies in nature and thereby ensuring the sustainable, non-detrimental harvest and off-take as an economic incentive for private land owners participating in the meta-population strategy.

It focusses on actions and strategies to strengthen the overall population performance, distribution and genetic diversity to ensure population fitness and resilience of the meta-population within the natural distribution range (including protected areas with populations outside the natural distribution range).

The plan was developed in consultation with relevant stakeholders, which included, amongst others, the South African National Parks (SANParks); the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI); CapeNature; academia, non-governmental organisations and private landowners.

Members of the public are invited to submit to the Minister, within 30 days after the publication of the notice in the Gazette, written representations on, or objections to the draft BMP Plan for Cape Mountain Zebra (Equus zebra zebra).

To access an electronic copy of the gazetted BMP Plan for Cape Mountain Zebra, click on the link below:

» National environmental management: biodiversity act, 2004 (Act No. 10 of 2004) Biodiversity management plan for cape mountain zebra (equus zebra zebra) [G 40464 – No 1483]

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