Damaliscus lunatus ssp. lunatus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Cetartiodactyla Bovidae

Scientific Name: Damaliscus lunatus ssp. lunatus (Burchell, 1824)
Parent Species:
Common Name(s):
English Tsessebe
Taxonomic Notes: Tsessebe (D. l. lunatus) is one of six subspecies of Topi (Damaliscus lunatus), following Duncan (2013). The others being: Topi (D. l. jimela); Tiang (D. l. tiang); Coastal Topi (D. l. topi); Bangweulu Tsessebe (D. l. superstes); and Korrigum (D. l. korrigum).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2016-08-02
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Cooke, R.
Total  numbers were estimated at ca 30,000 in 1999, with 40% in protected areas and another 20% on private land. The overall trend is increasing, although some protected populations, such as that in Kruger National Park have declined; nonetheless, these declines should be offset by increasing populations on private land.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Tsessebe remain present in a number of populations in southern Africa, but became extinct in Mozambique around the late 1970s or early 1980s. They have been reintroduced in Swaziland, after the indigenous population was exterminated.

For the distribution map, see the parent species assessment: Damaliscus lunatus.
Countries occurrence:
Angola; Botswana; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Namibia; South Africa; Zambia
Regionally extinct:
Swaziland; Zimbabwe
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:East (1999) estimated a global population of 30,000 Tsessebe. Population trends are increasing (especially on private land).
Current Population Trend:Increasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:21000
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Generally an inhabitant of floodplains and other grasslands in southern Africa. In South Africa, the Tsessebe formerly occurred in the bushveld and lowveld; currently, it occurs mainly on the basalt plains of northern Kruger National Park. Tsessebe do not occur in forests, arid or montane habitats (above 1,500 m) (East 1999, Duncan 2013). Nearly exclusively grazers, they can go for months without drinking in the dry season if they are feeding on growing grass (Duncan 2013).
Generation Length (years):6.1

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This subspecies is hunted for food and sport. Fees for Tsessebe across its distribution range from US$800 to US$4950. In South Africa, the Tsessebe is a TOPS (Threatened Or Protected Species) animal that requires a special permit to be issued.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The main threats to Topi in general, and including the subspecies Tsessebe, are agro-pastoral development and overhunting.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Tsessebe are well represented in both protected areas (40%) and on private land (20%), with strongholds in Okavango and Chobe N.P. (Botswana) and Kruger N.P. (South Africa). However, the population in Kruger N.P., among the best-protected areas on the continent, declined to about 220 individuals in 1996 from a high of 1,000 in 1986 (Dunham et al. 2005). Tsessebe have been successfully (re)introduced to many areas in southern Africa, such as Marakele and Pilanesberg N.P.s (East 1999) and Itala G.R. in N KwaZulu-Natal (Rowe-Rowe 1994), South Africa; Swaziland (Mkhaya G.R., Monadjem 1998); and Namibia (Etosha N.P., Van der Walt 1989); and to private land both in South Africa and in the norther farming districts of Namibia (Duncan 2013).

Citation: IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group. 2017. Damaliscus lunatus ssp. lunatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T6240A50185806. . Downloaded on 23 April 2018.
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