Connochaetes gnou 

Scope: Global
Language: English

Translate page into:

Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Cetartiodactyla Bovidae

Scientific Name: Connochaetes gnou
Species Authority: (Zimmermann, 1780)
Common Name(s):
English Black Wildebeest, White-tailed Gnu

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)
The Black Wildebeest is currently largely restricted to protected areas and private reserves, with a total global population estimated at more than 18,000 (with over 11,000 in its natural range and over 7,000 on farmlands in Namibia - an area outside its natural range). The population is increasing and there are no major threats at present.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The Black Wildebeest occurs in South Africa, Swaziland, and Lesotho. By the end of the 19th century, excessive hunting had reduced the formerly vast population to a few individuals surviving on two farms in the Free State Province of South Africa; since then, protection by farmers and conservation agencies has allowed the species to recover (East 1999, Vrahimis in press). It has now been reintroduced to parts of its former range (western Swaziland and western Lesotho) and into farmland areas outside of its natural range (Namibia). A detailed discussion of the historical distribution of the species is given by Von Richter (1971).
Countries occurrence:
South Africa
Lesotho; Swaziland
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Recent estimates are available for almost all of this species’ populations, including total counts for protected areas and questionnaire surveys for private land. Summation of these estimates gives a total population estimate of more than 18,000, of which about 80% is on private farms and conservancies and 20% in protected areas. Population trend is increasing, especially on private land, with a large extralimital population now established in Namibia, where importations from South Africa led to a dramatic rise in the estimated total numbers, from 150 in 1982 to more than 7,000 in 1992 (East 1999).
Current Population Trend:Increasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:A species characteristics of the open plains grasslands and karoo shrublands of South Africa and Lesotho. The high central plateau grasslands are characterized by flat to rolling hills, and mountainous areas with altitudes ranging from 1,350-2,150 m (Vrahimis in press). The Black Wildebeest is predominantly a grazer and prefers short grassveld (Von Richter 1974).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Previously, the main threat to this species was hunting pressure, habitat loss, and periodic outbreak of disease (Vrahimis in press). However, now that the species has recovered and numbers are increasing, the only significant threat is the problem of hybridization with the Common Wildebeest, C. taurinus, which can occur when the two species are mixed unnaturally on fenced land (East 1999). Hybrids are known to be fertile (Fabricius et al. 1988).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Currently, about 20% of the population occurs in protected areas, with around 80% occurring on private farmland and conservancies (East 1999). The most immediate conservation need is avoiding keeping C. taurinus and C. gnou in the same areas.

Citation: IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group. 2008. Connochaetes gnou. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T5228A11120065. . Downloaded on 17 August 2017.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided