Original Research

Social organisation of the Cape Mountain Zebra Equus Z. Zebra in the Mountain Zebra National Park*

B. L Penzhorn
Koedoe | Vol 22, No 1 | a655 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/koedoe.v22i1.655 | © 1979 B. L Penzhorn | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 02 December 1979 | Published: 02 December 1979

About the author(s)

B. L Penzhorn,, South Africa

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Abstract

The social structure of Cape mountain zebras con- sists of breeding herds of one stallion, one to five mares and their offspring, as well as bachelor groups. Breeding herds remain stable over many years and when the stallion is displaced by another, the mares remain together. A dominance hierarchy exists, but leadership is random. Foals leave their maternal herds at a mean age of 22,3 months. The herd stallion tries to prevent the foals from leaving the herd. Bachelor groups are not as well defined as breeding herds, but core groups could be identified through a principal components analysis ordination. Family ties may be important in the establishment of core groups. Bachelors succeed in becoming herd stallions when about five years old. Aspects of the possible evolution of the social structure are discussed.

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