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
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.
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.