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Oreotragus oreotragus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA CETARTIODACTYLA BOVIDAE

Scientific Name: Oreotragus oreotragus
Species Authority: (Zimmermann, 1783)
Infra-specific Taxa Assessed:
Common Name(s):
English Klipspringer, Western Klipspringer
Taxonomic Notes: Ansell (1972) listed 11 subspecies, but only the isolated Western Klipspringer (O. o. porteousi) of Nigeria and Central African Republic, is assessed separately here.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Mallon, D.P. (Antelope Red List Authority) & Hoffmann, M. (Global Mammal Assessment)
Justification:
Listed as Least Concern as the total population has been estimated at more than 40,000, 25% of which were in protected areas. Populations in many protected areas and on private land were considered stable, and substantial numbers occurred in unprotected but inaccessible habitat. This species’ conservation status should not change and its future should be secure as long as it continues to receive active protection in national parks and equivalent reserves, hunting concessions and private farmland. It should also continue to survive in substantial numbers in extensive, inaccessible areas of unprotected habitat.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The Klipspringer has a wide distribution from north-eastern Sudan, Eritrea, northern Somalia and the Ethiopian Highlands southwards through East and southern Africa to South Africa, and along the west coast in Namibia and south-western Angola. Isolated populations occur in the Central African Republic (two separate areas in the northern and western uplands) and south-eastern DR Congo (East 1999; Roberts in press). In Nigeria, they occur in and around the Jos Plateau (East 1999), and also in the east in the Gashaka-Gumpti N. P. (Nicholas 2004). The only country in which they formerly occurred, but are now probably extinct, is Burundi.
Countries:
Native:
Angola (Angola); Botswana; Central African Republic; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Djibouti; Eritrea; Ethiopia; Kenya; Malawi; Mozambique; Namibia; Nigeria; Rwanda; Somalia; South Africa; South Sudan; Sudan; Swaziland; Tanzania, United Republic of; Uganda; Zambia; Zimbabwe
Possibly extinct:
Burundi
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The Klipspringer can reach relatively high population densities within continuous areas of favourable habitat, e.g., 10.0-14.0/km² in a 9.6 km² area of escarpment, ridge top and gorge in Simien Mountains National Park (Ethiopia). More typically, the Klipspringer’s habitat is discontinuous within a given area and its abundance is closely related to the extent of suitable rocky terrain. Its overall population density is frequently in the range 0.01-0.1/km² in protected areas within which it is common in restricted areas of suitable habitat. Higher densities occur in areas with more extensive Klipspringer habitat, e.g., 0.15-0.30/km² in Lengwe (Malawi) and Karoo, Mountain Zebra and Royal Natal National Parks and Giant’s Castle Game Reserve (South Africa) (various authors in East 1999).

East (1999) produced a total population estimate of about 42,000 animals, which is probably conservative. Population trend is stable in many protected areas and on private land, but tending to decrease in areas where small, isolated populations are subjected to uncontrolled hunting and competition with livestock. The numbers of the western klipspringer are unknown but are unlikely to exceed a few thousand at most, in view of its very restricted distribution. This subspecies’ population is probably decreasing, at least in Nigeria.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Klipspringers are dependent on rocky and mountainous terrain, occurring up to 4,380 m in the Ethiopian Highlands (Yalden et al. 1996). The Rift Valleys and the Southern African escarpments provide extensive suitable habitat and are central to its distribution. Klipspringers are primarily browsers.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no obvious major threats to Klipspringers across their range. Their habitat is of little value to humans and it persists outside protected areas in regions where subsistence hunting pressure is not intense. The Klipspringer’s adaptation to the inaccessible hillsides and cliffs in these areas enables it to avoid most competition from domestic herds. Small, isolated populations within relatively small areas of rocky habitat are more vulnerable to hunting and competition from goats, and many of these populations have been eliminated in settled regions.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: About one-quarter of the population occurs in protected areas, including: Simien and Bale Mountains (Ethiopia), Tsavo (Kenya), North and South Luangwa (Zambia), Nyika (Malawi), Namib-Naukluft (Namibia) and Matobo (Zimbabwe). It occurs in lesser numbers in a large number of other protected areas throughout its range which contain smaller areas of suitable habitat. Very large numbers survive on private farmland in Namibia.

Citation: IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group 2008. Oreotragus oreotragus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 01 September 2014.
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