Introduction

Jazmyne Jones
Animal: Common Zebra
Research Location: Savannas, Botswana, Africa

Why This Animal?

I chose this animal of a zebra because I really enjoy seeing their stripes. They fascinate me because they look so alert all the time by their black and white stripes, but then when they are out about they look so calm and peaceful. It also interests me how bold and narrow their stripes are. Also, zebras are very beautiful. They look so majestic just like horses. Zebras are related to horses so that interests me a little bit more because I also really like horses and the color of their hair and skin. They just look like they are very soft, which makes them interest me even more. I've just alos loved zebras since I was little so the more I learn about them, the more I like them.

These animals are also very smart which is cool to know about them. I really like that the zebra is very energetic like me. Not only are they energetic like me but they are pretty fast also. Rare is a great word to describe a zebra because they are only found in certain biomes like, grasslands, savannas which also makes them unique and sparks my interest because I don't really know a lot about some of those biomes so it its very fun to know this about them.. But they are mostly found in Africa, or in southern Africa. And last, I love that zebras stay together in herds because then they aren't as likely to get hurt because they back each other up, and that's how we do things as humans, which I think is a really really great thing to do. I like that zebras are very unique in their own way. These are some reasons why I really like the Zebra.


This is my picture of The Zebra Food Web:
Food_Web_for_a_Zebra.jpg

My Research Location:

Research Location

By: Jazmyne Jones


My research location is in the savannas of Botswana, Africa, which is known to have the best wilderness and wildlife areas. I’m visiting here to do some research on the biome the Common Zebra lives on, and record observations. I know a couples things here and there about Africa, but not as much as I thought! There are many things that are interesting about Africa that I didn’t know but made me want to come for an actual journey and explore it for myself! Botswana is located in the savanna area which makes it pretty warm. Although it’s mostly hot and dry all year, there is a little time in the year for rainfall. The rain here is very unpredictable. In one area it can be drenched with 650mm(as the high annual rainfall), and 10-15 kilometers away from that area it can be totally dry. In the summer here the temperature can reach a high of 44 degrees celsius or 111.2 degrees fahrenheit. Plus, added to the hot weather there is a great amount of humidity! There are two different humidity ranges depending on the time of day. Today would be a great day to describe the 60%-80% range. And last night would be a great time to describe the 30%-40% humidity range.
Knowing that Africa is mostly savanna there are different kinds of them such as: Shrub Savanna, Tree Savanna, Close Tree Savanna/rocky hills, Semiarid Savanna, and Tree Savanna with Mopane. There is also the Aquatic Grasslands, woodland, deciduous forest and Piparian Forest. For a desert-like area it has a plentiful of vegetation. The zebra fits the biome of savanna because of the grasses they eat. As wild zebras they mainly feed on red oat grasses/African grasses. Also, they need the open space because each family can reach up to 17 family members and they all go together in herds. Lastly, the temperatures change which makes the zebra do certain things during each season to keep them busy. So this concludes my Research Location on the zebra for the savanna in Botswana, Africa.


external image savanna3_lg.jpg
Dry, Humid, Sunny Savanna with a lot of vegetation. Mountains are included.
savanna_3.jpg
This is a picture of the zebras roaming/grazing the savanna.
external image images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRljAv0I05NCK64YcmgHnO25yHRVg6MBzti_TnpTW5J5aH9LCWb2g
This is the savanna region in Africa. It covers a very good portion of the continent.

My Observation Journal:
My Days in Botswana, Africa
Day 1:

Today I arrived here in Botswana, Africa. It’s very hot and humid and its 6:13p.m. I am doing research on the majestic Common Zebra. I was told that the zebras were located on the other side of town, so my friend, Aduor, and I got into her jeep and set onward towards our journey. For starters, I will say that zebras are herbivores. Which means they only eat plants and grasses. They do not eat any meat. Grass is the main part of their diet, but they also like to eat shrubs, herbs, twigs, leaves and bark. As we arrived it was unreal on how many zebras I saw. Mamas and babies were grazing the savanna, and the stallions were far off resting. It’s getting dark and the zebras are starting to be more protective because they are aware they are being observed. They gather together by the trees and mountains and they sleep. We decide there’s nothing else we can observe today, so we go back to Adour’s house. I am very eager to get back out there tomorrow and make some more observations.
sleeping_zebraa.jpgZebras can't lay down for a long time, or they won't be able to get back up.
This is a zebra that we had seen before we
left sleeping laying down. Which isn't very common.
Day 2:
Today is my second day here in Botswana. I’m on my way right now to the nearby savanna to observe some more. I see a lot of zebras with their beautiful and bright referee shirts on, and they are all gathered in a dry area. I noticed a few lions approaching so I made sure I stayed far away. As the lions lingered closer to the zebras, the zebras formed a protective circle around their young foul and the male stallions fight off the predator. This is a picture of a baby zebra being protected by it’s mom or dad or another adult zebra that has been around the baby zebra. They would be protecting the zebra by a lion or hyenas. They used their hind legs to kick, their teeth to scare off the predator, and gather around their babies. These are some examples of behaviors zebras take part in when being protective.
Zebra_Teeth.jpg
2011-04-04-10-56-57-1-the-hind-legs-of-the-zebra-kick-off-to-the-face-an.jpg







Day 3:
Today is day 3 and I’m watching the zebras roam and eat. They are eaten Red African grass. It’s normally located around the shadowy part of the savanna. Also, they eat the leaves and twigs from the trees. As I said before they are herbivores. Just as any other animal, the zebras drink water all day long. The savanna is known for it’s dry and humid weather, but yes there are lakes and ponds in savannas. The zebras find their shelter in the shade under a tree. This is their main shelter, if they feel hot, to sleep in. Some zebras sleep out in the open, but that’s very rare. They also sleep in herds. It’s a protective thing. Below is a picture of them in a herd.

Zebra_Herd.jpg

Day 4:
This is my last day here and I’m observing relationships zebras have with other animals or species. I am walking through slowly to see if I can get a closer look, and it seem to be an oxpecker on the back of a zebra. The oxpecker and zebra seem to have a mutual relationship because the zebra is being helped by getting ticks off their backs, and the oxpecker is also benefitted because it’s getting food from the zebra. This concludes my journal this time. I’ve had an amazing journey and I’m so happy I got to do this experiment! We’re heading back to the Adour’s house and getting packed because I am leaving tomorrow and going back home to Iowa. I can’t wait to come back again and enjoy the beautiful wilderness. So that’s it, and I hoped you like my journal!Below here is a picture of the oxpeckers landing on the back of the zebra:zebra_oxpeckers.jpg The zebra allows the oxpeckers to land on him, because they eat the ticks on the zebra.


Wildlife Monitoring System:

I chose the tag and release option because my animal moves around a lot! It travels to far places and short places, and its hard for them to be in a closed habitat without their herds or water or shelter. It seemed like the best option for my zebra.

Using the Research:



Fellow Research Profile:

I have gotten a lot of good research from James Bradley and other researchers on his team. They have showed me what type of things go on in Botswana. I have enjoyed this experience and am hoping to come back soon! The things they have taught me about the zebras and their habitat, food is interesting! Also the information and location of the zebras and how they adapt to their location. James Bradley studied zebras all throughout Africa. He loved zebras just as I do, and wanted to get a further look into the habitats of them.
This trip was very outstanding because I got to live in the area around the zebras' homes. I also got to met my friend Adour in Botswana. James Bradley chose Botswana because the wilderness is the most outragous and the zebra population is very large there since they have built the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park that they built in 2004. James has taught me that the zebras are endangered and that their population is decreasing slowly. Also, when you have something you strongly believe and love to do, you should take the chance to do it!

Resources:
Keene-Young, Robyn. "Smithsonian.com." Nothing Can Stop The Zebra. Smithsonian Magazine. Web. 23 Feb. 2012. http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/Nothing-Can-Stop-the-Zebra.html.

National Geographic Society. "Zebra." Zebras, Zebra Pictures, Zebra Facts. National Geographic. Web. 23 Feb. 2012. <http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/zebra/>.