Antilope cervicapra 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Cetartiodactyla Bovidae

Scientific Name: Antilope cervicapra (Linnaeus, 1758)
Common Name(s):
English Blackbuck
French Antilope Cervicapre
Spanish Cervicapra

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2016-06-21
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Cooke, R.
Contributor(s): Mallon, D.
Although range and numbers have declined during the last 100 years, Blackbuck remain widespread and common in some areas, are increasing in many protected areas, and becoming a crop pest in other places. Habitat loss has reduced the overall range but is balanced, at least to some extent, by conversion of dense scrub and woodland to agriculture, creating more suitable, open habitats. Despite their adaptability, Blackbuck are subject to increasing pressure from human population growth, increasing numbers of domestic livestock, and economic development. There are no quantified data on population trend, but even if the species is declining overall, there is no evidence to indicate a decline over 19 years (three generations) that is close to approaching the threshold for Vulnerable under criterion A.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The Blackbuck formerly occurred across almost the whole of the Indian subcontinent south of the Himalaya. Their range decreased during the 20th century and they are now extinct in Bangladesh and Pakistan. Blackbuck are still present in the terai zone of Nepal (Bashistha et al. 2012). The species has been introduced to the United States of America (Texas) and Argentina.
Countries occurrence:
India; Nepal
Regionally extinct:
Bangladesh; Pakistan
Argentina; United States
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:It has been speculated that the population may have numbered 4 million a couple of centuries ago but only around 80,000 individuals were estimated in 1947. The population in India increased from an estimated 22,000-24,000 in the 1970s to an estimated 50,000 (ca 35,000 mature individuals) by 2000, with the largest numbers in the states of Rajasthan, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Gujarat (Rahmani 2001). Around 200 live in Nepal (Bashistha et al. 2012). Introduced populations in Argentina and the USA may number 8,600 and 35,000, respectively (Mallon and Kingswood 2001). No systematic census has been conducted and therefore no robust population estimates of current population size are available. However, it remains widespread and numerous in many places. The species has adapted to the margins of agricultural land and there is some evidence that clearance of scrub and woodland benefit it by creating suitable habitat. In some areas, the population has increased so much that the Blackbuck has become an agricultural pest, although not to the scale of Nilgai.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:35000
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:The species inhabits open grassland, dry thorn scrub, scrubland and lightly-wooded country as well as agricultural margins, where it is often seen feeding in fields. Blackbuck require water daily, which restricts distribution to areas where surface water is available for the greater part of the year. Blackbuck are primarily grazers, but browse when lack of grasses forces a greater dependency on leaf litter, flowers and fruits. They are mainly sedentary, but in summer may move longer distances in search of water and forage (Rahmani 2001).
Generation Length (years):6.4

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Blackbuck declined sharply during the 20th century due to unsustainable hunting, and although they are now protected, some Blackbuck are still shot illegally.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Although Blackbuck have disappeared from many areas due to habitat destruction through conversion to agricultural use and hunting, they are increasing in many protected areas and areas dominated by Vishnoi communities in Rajasthan and Haryana (Rahmani 2001). Conversion of dense scrub and woodland to grassland and agriculture also increases the area of suitable habitat.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Blackbuck is fully protected by law in India. Blackbuck occur in many protected areas, including Velavadar Blackbuck Sanctuary in Gujarat and Point Calimere Wildlife Sanctuary in the far south of India. The species is listed in CITES Appendix III (Nepal).

Citation: IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group. 2017. Antilope cervicapra. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T1681A50181949. . Downloaded on 21 September 2018.
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