Zebra migration strategies and anthrax in Etosha National Park, Namibia

Royi Zidon, Shimon Garti, Wayne M. Getz, David Saltz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Partial seasonal migration is ubiquitous in many species. We documented this phenomenon in plains zebra (Equus burchelli) in Etosha National Park, Namibia (ENP), and provided a cost-benefit analysis as it relates to the spatial distribution of water, vegetation, and endemic anthrax. This analysis draws upon two years of ENP zebra movement data that reveal two sub-populations: migrators and non-migrators. Migrators are shown to be behaviorally dominant in the way they utilize space and use water holes. We raise the possibility that the co-existence of these two groups reflects an evolutionary process, and the size of each group maintains evolutionary equilibrium.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numbere01925
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank the Namibian Ministry of Environment and Tourism for permission to do this research, the Directorate of Parks, Wildlife and Management for permission to work in Etosha, and the staff of the Directorate of Scientific Services at the Etosha Ecological Institute for logistical support and assistance. We would like to give special thanks to veterinarians Mark Jago, Conrad Brain, Peter Morkel, and Ortwin Aschen-born for their assistance with animal captures, as well as to S. Bellan, Carrie Cizauskas, Martina Ku€sters, Shayne Ko€tting, Gabriel Shatumbu, Wendy Turner, Wilferd Versfeld, Marthin Kasaona, and Werner Kilian, among others, for their tremendous help in the field. We acknowledge the helpful comments of two anonymous reviewers. The first two authors were supported by Ronen Kadmon’s laboratory, and they wish to thank him. Royi Zidon carried out the field work and wrote the paper as part of his Ph.D., David Saltz and Wayne, M. Getz were advisors to Royi Zidon and assisted in writing and editing the paper, and Shimon Garti raised the idea of integrating the evolution process with the observed migration behavior. This project was approved by the UC Berkeley Animal Care and Use Committee (protocol no. R217-0510B) and supported in part by grant NIH grant GM83863 to W.M.G. This is publication number 940 of the Mitrani Department for Desert Ecology.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Zidon et al.


  • Bacillus anthracis
  • GPS telemetry
  • Movement ecology
  • Partial migration
  • Tick load
  • Water holes


Dive into the research topics of 'Zebra migration strategies and anthrax in Etosha National Park, Namibia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this