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Nesotragus moschatus 

Scope: Global
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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Cetartiodactyla Bovidae

Scientific Name: Nesotragus moschatus
Species Authority: Von Dueben, 1846
Common Name(s):
English Suni
French Antilope musquée
Synonym(s):
Neotragus moschatus (Von Dueben, 1846)
Taxonomic Notes: Included in the genus Neotragus, along with the Royal Antelope Neotragus batesi, and Bates' Pygmy Antelope N. pygmaeus, by a number of authors (Ansell 1972, Grubb 2005). Here included in the monotypic Nesotragus following Ellerman et al. (1953) and Kingdon (2013). Five subspecies have been described but the boundaries between forms are not clearly delineated. Only the species is assessed here.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-01-07
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Hoffmann, M. & Mallon, D.
Justification:
The total population is estimated at ca. 365,000, and the population is considered stable over large parts of its range. The Suni’s presence in protected areas, its ability to adapt to secondary vegetation and its resilience to hunting should enable it to persist in satisfactory numbers within substantial parts of its current range for the foreseeable future. It is not considered close to meeting any threshold for threatened status and it is confirmed Least Concern.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The Suni formerly occurred widely in forests and thickets in coastal regions and the hinterland from Kenya to KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. In Kenya, it occurs about as far north as Mt Kenya and the Aberdares, and, along the coast, as far north as the Boni-Dodori forests (Andanje et al. 2011), their southerly limit of distribution is around Lake St Lucia in north-east KwaZulu-Natal (ca. 28°S) (Kingdon and Hoffmann 2013). They probably also occur in Swaziland, although their occurrence is not confirmed (Monadjem 1998). There are no confirmed records from Zambia. Recorded from Zanzibar and some adjacent islands (Mafia and Chapani, the type locality and introduced to Mnemba Island), but not Pemba (Kingdon and Hoffmann 2013). Introduced to Rubondo Island in Lake Victoria in the 1960s (Rodgers et al. 1977).
Countries occurrence:
Native:
Kenya; Malawi; Mozambique; South Africa; Tanzania, United Republic of; Zimbabwe
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):2700
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species occurs at relatively high population densities in areas where it is common, e.g., ground surveys have revealed densities of 13.0-17.0/km² in areas such as Zanzibar Island and Lengwe National Park, it occurs at lower densities in South Africa, e.g., 0.9/km² in Mkuzi Game Reserve (various authors in East 1999). East (1999) produced a total population estimate of 365,000. The population trend is probably stable over large parts of its range, but decreasing in settled areas where hunting pressures are very high and in some protected areas with an overpopulation of Nyala Tragelaphus angasii and corresponding decline in density of shrubs (Kingdon and Hoffmann 2013).
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:An inhabitant of coastal forests and thickets, dry deciduous thickets, montane forests to 2700 m and other areas with thick undergrowth. In some areas it probably benefits from the expansion of secondary thicket habitat which has resulted from human activity (e.g. on Zanzibar), and it readily colonises degraded forests (East 1999, Kingdon and Hoffmann 2013).
Systems:Terrestrial
Generation Length (years):4.0

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: For information on use and trade, see under Threats.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This is a very resilient species which generally withstands moderately high hunting pressure, although overhunting has probably reduced its numbers over much of its range in Kenya, and localized overhunting causes low densities in areas such as the immediate vicinity of villages. Loss of habitat to the expansion of agriculture and settlement and hunting by poachers and uncontrolled dogs (e.g. Cordeiro et al. 2005) have eliminated the Suni from much of its former range in South Africa where it is now a rare species. It is also threatened by reduction of shrub cover caused by increasing numbers of Nyala (Tragelaphus angasii) in some protected areas and private game farms.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Important protected populations occur in areas such as Aberdares N.P. and Mount Kenya N. P. (Kenya), Udzungwa N.P. and Selous G. R. (Tanzania), Lengwe N. P. (Malawi), Maputo G. R. (Mozambique) and Tembe N. P., Mkuzi G. R. and Ndumu G. R. (South Africa). In 1995, a total of 39 captive-bred Suni were released in an area of dense bush in north-eastern Kruger National Park which is believed to comprise suitable habitat, but by early 1998 there was no evidence that this reintroduction had been successful (East 1999).

Citation: IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group. 2016. Nesotragus moschatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T14604A50191073. . Downloaded on 29 September 2016.
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