Dorcatragus megalotis 

Scope: Global

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Cetartiodactyla Bovidae

Scientific Name: Dorcatragus megalotis
Species Authority: (Menges, 1894)
Common Name(s):
English Beira, Beira Antelope
French Beira
Oreotragus megalotis Menges, 1894
Taxonomic Notes: Monotypic genus.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable C1 ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-01-07
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Hoffmann, M. & Mallon, D.
Listed as Vulnerable as there are estimated to be <10,000 mature individuals and a continuing and projected decline of at least 10% over three generations (12 years) as a result of habitat degradation through drought, overgrazing by domestic livestock, cutting of shade trees for charcoal, and some hunting.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Endemic to northeast Africa, from the far south of Djibouti across northern Somalia and extending marginally into Ethiopia. Most of the distribution lies in northern Somalia [Somaliland], from the western border with Djibouti, east into the Puntland region and the Nogaal Valley. From historical and recent information the core areas of the population are: Asse hills-Lahan Sheik, Garoowe area (Bur Cobohille), Wagar, Buuraha, Araweina, Ali Haidh and Guban region, but it may occur widely in suitable habitat across this region (Giotto et al. 2013, Mallon and Jama 2015).

The species’ existence in Djibouti was only confirmed in 1993, when they were observed on hillsides at two sites in the southeast, close to the borders with Somalia and Ethiopia (Künzel and Künzel 1998). Recent surveys have shown that the area of distribution in Djibouti is about 250 km² and located in the mountainous Ali Sabieh - Arrey - Assamo region (Künzel et al. 2000, Laurent and Laurent 2002, Heckel et al. 2004).

In Ethiopia, the species is known from the Marmar mountains along the border with north-west Somalia (Bolton 1973). No recent information is available on its status in this part of the country, where large numbers of armed pastoralists and their livestock now reside.

In Somaliland it remains widely distributed and may occur at many sites with suitable habitat (Mallon and Jama 2015).
Countries occurrence:
Djibouti; Somalia
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):1800
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:East (1999) estimated the population at 7,000 based on the assumption that a population density of 0.2 /km² applied throughout the species’ range, and that its area of occupancy is about 35,000 km². Most occur in northern Somalia, which has been relatively unaffected by the civil/military conflicts in the rest of the country. Its numbers may be decreasing in some parts of its range where settlement is expanding and livestock densities are high, but its populations are probably stable in areas with few settlements.

In Djibouti, the total population has been estimated at between 50 and 150 individuals (Künzel and Künzel 1998, Laurent et al. 2002, Heckel et al. 2004). In Djibouti, Beira are restricted to a limited area and likely decreasing in number due to desertification by overgrazing and disturbance from an incoming population of refugees. In Somalia, animals underwent a marked decline in number during the 1975 drought (Simonetta 1988).
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:7000Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Beira frequent rocky or stony hillsides, and slopes, where the dominant vegetation is a woody steppe of mixed Acacia scrub (Giotto et al. 2013). In Somaliland many sites are on flat-topped hills with steep stony sides (Mallon and Jama 2015).
Generation Length (years):4.0

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Hunting at occurs at a low level. Some animals reportedly live-caught in Somaliland for export to the Gulf region (Mallon and Jama 2015).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Drought, habitat deterioration as a result of overgrazing by domestic livestock, uncontrolled hunting and cutting of woodland and scrub for charcoal exports to the Gulf area (Moustapha Elmi 1992, East 1999). Charcoal production has greatly increased and poses a threat through removal of essential shade trees. The Beira’s small size, wariness, and the rocky habitat it prefers may enable it to avoid heavy hunting pressure.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no protected areas within Beira range or active in situ conservation programmes for the species. There was a successful captive-breeding population at Al Wabra, Qatar, but numbers here have decreased considerably.

Citation: IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group. 2016. Dorcatragus megalotis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T6793A50185898. . Downloaded on 24 October 2016.
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