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Is this their final hour? The Namib's Breeding Bottleneck

February 17, 2019

 

 

Garub, south-western Namibia, home to the Namib’s, Namibia’s wild horses. Here horses live, breed, play a die as they have done for a century.   But all is not as it seems.

 

The existence of the Namib’s teeters on the brink of extinction as all these foals born in the last few months have been killed by the resident hyena population.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The horse population has plummeted from 286 to a mere 79 horses. In 2013 alone, hyenas killed a hundred horses, fifty of them foals. Not one foal has survived over the last six years, and the youngest mare is now eight years old.

 

 

A six-year generation gap means that in 8 years there will be no mares of breeding age (9-16 years old).  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The very young and older mares will not be able to produce many foals in future and the genetic diversity, already compromised by the shortage of mares, will be further jeopardised.

 

 

 

 

It will be a sad day in Namibia’s history should we lose this legacy.

 

Hopefully the decision-makers will act before it is too late - without the chance for new life, this population is doomed....

 

 

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