the quagga project


the aim of the project

The Quagga project attempts to breed through selection a population of Plains Zebras, which in its external appearance, and possibly genetically as well, will be closer, if not identical to the former population known as "Quagga", which was exterminated during the second half of the 19th century.


Photograph of the Grant or Boehm Zebra of East Africa The most northern of the Plains Zebra subspecies,
Grant or Boehm Zebra of East Africa,
Equus quagga boehmi


Photograph of the London Zoo Quagga - 
Photo : Frederick York The most southern of the Plains Zebra subspecies,
the extinct Quagga of South Africa,
Equus quagga quagga
photo of London Quagga by Frederick York in 1870


Photograph of the southern Plains Zebra Southern African Plains Zebra subspecies,
Chapmans Zebra, Equus quagga antiquorum


It is evident from the 23 preserved skins of the extinct Quagga, that this former population displayed great individual variation. Present southern Plains Zebra populations also demonstrate great individual variation and include individuals that have some Quagga characteristics, such as a brownish basic colour, much reduced striping, white tail-bush, etc. It is likely that some of the Quagga genes are still present in extant populations, though diluted and dispersed.

By bringing selected individuals together, and so concentrating the Quagga genes, a population should emerge that will be closer to the original Quagga population than any other extant Plains Zebra.


Photograph of the stallion Luke Stallion Luke, born in the Quagga Project.
Note: advanced stripe reduction and brownish tint.


For re-introduction into areas formerly inhabited by Quaggas, such animals would undoubtedly be more desirable than any others.

How close re-bred Quaggas will eventually be to the original Quaggas genetically, can probably not be determined, as only portions of the mitochondrial DNA of the Quagga are known, and not it’s nuclear DNA.

However, since the coat -pattern characteristics are the only criteria by which the Quagga is identified, re-bred animals that demonstrate these coat-pattern characteristics could justifiably be called Quaggas.


Information about the Quagga, needed for school projects, will be found in this website. It is not possible to answer individual school project inquiries.

Information supplied by Quagga Project Committee, Copyright© 2006

Contact person  Craig Lardner (

copyright © 2006  QUAGGA PROJECT ASSOCIATION website design & maintenance : AUBREY BYRON