Nanger soemmerringii 

Scope: Global

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Cetartiodactyla Bovidae

Scientific Name: Nanger soemmerringii
Species Authority: (Cretzschmar, 1826)
Common Name(s):
English Soemmerring's Gazelle, Gazelle de Soemmerring
Gazella soemmerringii (Cretzschmar, 1826)
Taxonomic Notes: This species was separated from Gazella and placed in the genus Nanger along with N. granti and N. dama by Grubb (2005) and this arrangement is widely followed. Three subspecies have been named, based on variations in coat colour and horns. The boundaries between the three forms have not been clearly delineated and their validity has not been confirmed by genetic analysis. Only the species is assessed here.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable C1 ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-04-20
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Hoffmann, M.
Contributor(s): Heckel, J., Wilhelmi, F., Kaariye, X. & Kunzel, T. and Amir, O.
This species is assessed as Vulnerable because the total population is estimated to be <6,000-7,500 (hence <10,000 mature individuals) and to have declined at a rate exceeding 10% over 17 years (three generations) due to poaching, overgrazing and habitat degradation. It is also estimated that these threats will continue in the future, at or above the thresholds required. If current trends continue the species may soon meet one of the criteria for Endangered.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Formerly this species was widely distributed throughout most of Djibouti, northern Somalia, the central coastal plain of Somalia; north-east and central Sudan; lowland areas of Eritrea, and the Ogaden and other lowland areas of eastern Ethiopia (Schloeder and Jacobs 2013). At one time, this gazelle may occasionally have ventured as far south as extreme north-east Kenya (East 1999) but there is no recent information on its occurrence in this area. The population on Dahlak Kebir Island was probably introduced over 100 years ago (Yalden et al. 1996), and has since been followed by an introduction to Dahlak Norah Island in the late 1980s (Schloeder and Jacobs 2013). Uncontrolled hunting and habitat destruction have most probably eliminated this species from its historic range in Sudan (East 1999). It still occupies substantial parts of its historical range in Djibouti, Somalia, Eritrea, and Ethiopia, but at lower densities and as isolated populations; numbers in the Ogaden are greatly reduced due to uncontrolled hunting (Wilhelmi et al. 2006). The species still occurs in the northern Danakil Desert in Eritrea, especially the Buri Peninsula (Mallon 2014). In Somaliland (northern Somalia) it has disappeared from several areas of former range and is now restricted to the Arori plains south of Burco and the Giriyad plains in the north-west (Mallon and Jama 2015).
Countries occurrence:
Djibouti; Eritrea; Ethiopia; Somalia
Possibly extinct:
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):1000
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:East (1999) estimated the total population at about 14,000. Numbers have declined in most areas since then, though security concerns have hindered detailed census work. The largest current population is on Dahlak Kebir island, Eritrea, and is estimated at 3,000-4,000 and stable (H. Yohannes pers. comm., Mallon 2014). Numbers in mainland Eritrea are unknown but are probably <1,000. In Ethiopia, numbers in one of the strongholds, the Awash Valley, have reportedly declined, though no precise figures are available. Wilhelmi et al. (2006) said that numbers in the Ogaden were at least a few hundred and perhaps a few thousand. In Somalia, numbers have declined in Somaliland in the north, and are almost certainly no more than the low hundreds at most (Mallon and Jama 2015). There are no estimates for other parts of Somalia but the total for the country could be <1,000. Laurent and Laurent (2002) estimated 250-600 in in Djibouti. The species has probably been extirpated in Sudan. These figures suggest a total current population of <6,000 to 7,500 individuals, but the upper limit of this estimate should be regarded as speculative until more accurate information is available from the Ogaden.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:4000-5000Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Occupies arid and semi-arid coastal plains, Acacia savannah, and grassland plains; found in open bush savannah and thinly-wooded grasslands (Schloeder and Jacobs 2013). Animals on the Dahlak islands are smaller than those on the mainland (Schloeder and Jacobs 2013).
Generation Length (years):5.5

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Soemmerring's Gazelle is subject to uncontrolled hunting for meat in most parts of its range.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Uncontrolled hunting, political instability, civil and military conflicts, and degradation of rangeland by large numbers of livestock are the main threats (East 1999, Künzel et al. 2000, Schloeder and Jakobs 2013).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The only effectively protected populations are Dahlak Kebir island, Eritrea, where they are valued by the local communities (Mallon 2014) and Awash National Park, Ethiopia. The Buri Peninsula in Eritrea has been designated as a conservation area. There are no functioning protected areas in Somalia. There are small, well-managed captive populations. Overall distribution and numbers of this gazelle will continue to decline unless effective protection and management can be implemented in larger areas of its range than at present.

Citation: IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group. 2016. Nanger soemmerringii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T63541A50197739. . Downloaded on 26 October 2016.
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