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Blom, Sandra, 2009. Diurnal behaviour of mother-young pairs of Plains zebras (Equus burchelli) in Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya. First cycle, G2E. Skara: SLU, Dept. of Animal Environment and Health (until 231231)

PDF (Examensarbete på Etologi- och Djurskyddsprogrammet om zebrors dygnsrytm.)


The aim of the study was to investigate the diurnal behaviour of plains zebras (Equus burchelli). Data of 100 mother-young pairs were collected in Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya to record time budgets for grazing, walking, lying and standing behavior. Mares and their offspring where observed in 1-min intervals. Suckling behaviour of the foals and weather conditions was also recorded. The non-parametric Kruskal-Wallis test was used for statistical analysis and Pearson test for correlation.

My results shows that the zebras (mares and foals) were grazing significantly more in the afternoon then during the rest of the day, which could be the reason why they were walking significantly less in the afternoon. The adult zebras were standing least in the afternoon and the foals were standing most during midday. Almost no lying was observed in the adults but the foals had a peak in the morning and a absence of lying in the midday, but again at some extent in the afternoon.
The temperature rose during the day while the humidity decreased. More sun was present in the morning, while the afternoons were more cloudy.

By the results I can conclude that that the zebras is grazing all over the day but with a significant peak in the afternoon, which makes the other behaviours to be more concentrated at the earlier hours of the day. In the literature review for the study I found scientists that write about mares and foals which, to a great extent synchronized their behaviours. When I tested correlation it showed that the mares and foals synchronized the walking and grazing. I learned that there are a lot of factors that can affect the diurnal behaviours of the zebras, such as predator distribution, weather conditions, social behaviours and nutrient requirements. In my study I believe that the temperature and predation distribution had an influence on the zebras’ behaviours. There is also some adaptions, namely to the habitat they live in which affects the diurnal behaviours.

Main title:Diurnal behaviour of mother-young pairs of Plains zebras (Equus burchelli) in Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Authors:Blom, Sandra
Supervisor:Jung, Jens
Examiner:Andersson, Maria
Series:Studentarbete / Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet, Institutionen för husdjurens miljö och hälsa
Volume/Sequential designation:281
Year of Publication:2009
Level and depth descriptor:First cycle, G2E
Student's programme affiliation:VK002 Ethology and Animal Welfare - Bachelor's Programme 180 HEC
Supervising department:(VH) > Dept. of Animal Environment and Health (until 231231)
Keywords:diurnal behaviour, zebra, Equus burchelli, Maasai Mara
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Veterinary science and hygiene - General aspects
Deposited On:26 Jun 2009 08:48
Metadata Last Modified:20 Apr 2012 14:08

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