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Gazella cuvieri 

Scope: Global
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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Cetartiodactyla Bovidae

Scientific Name: Gazella cuvieri
Species Authority: (Ogilby, 1841)
Common Name(s):
English Cuvier's Gazelle, Edmi
French Gazelle de Cuvier
Spanish Gacela de Cuvier
Taxonomic Notes: Genetic analyses have shown that G. cuvieri is the westernmost representative of closely related, twin-producing gazelles also including G. leptoceros, G.[subgutturosa] marica and G. bennettii (Hammond et al. 2001, Beudels et al. 2013).
In a more recent analysis of North African antelopes, Silva et al. (2015) found that G. cuvieri and G. leptoceros appear to form a monophyletic group, as previously suggested by Rebholz and Harley (1999). Hassanin et al. (2012) found that pairwise distances between the three taxa were very low (<1.5%) and suggested that G. leptoceros and G. marica should be regarded as subspecies of G. cuvieri.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable C2a(i) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-04-27
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Hoffmann, M.
Contributor(s): Mallon, D. & Cuzin, F.
Justification:
Listed as Vulnerable as revised population estimates (2,360-4,560) indicate a larger population than estimated at the time of the last assessment. The species is threatened by overhunting and habitat degradation, mainly due to the transformation of forests into cropland and pastures for livestock. Although numbers are still low overall, and the number of mature individuals may still be <2,500, at least two subpopulations contain well above 250 mature individuals.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Endemic to mountains and hills of the Atlas and neighbouring ranges of north-west Africa. Overhunting and habitat degradation have greatly reduced the former range and led to fragmented populations. Beudels-Jamar et al. (2005) mapped 48 sites occupied by the species in 2005.

In Morocco, populations are highly fragmented, but recent reports indicate relatively substantial populations in the western Anti-Atlas, and in the Aydar region of the north-western Sahara (Beudels-Jamar et al. 2005, Herrera-Sanchez et al. in press, F. Cuzin pers. comm. 2015).

In Algeria, the distribution is limited to the northern part of the country: it is no longer found either north of the Tell Atlas or to the south of the Saharan Atlas (De Smet and Smith 2001). The species has only recently disappeared from a few localities, mainly in the north. The populations of the western Tell Atlas, Batna-Biskra, and the Aurès mountains are no longer contiguous, and some groups of the Saharan Atlas were recently extirpated. The most recent information indicates that some of these populations are growing. The most eastern populations are found in the Aurès, the Némentcha mountains, and the hills near the Tunisian border (Beudels-Jamar et al. 2005).

In Tunisia, numbers and distribution declined steeply due to overhunting by the 1970s, but the population then began to increase as a consequence of efficient conservation measures implemented in and around Chambi National Park (Kacem et al. 1994). However, military operations since 2013 have severely affected Chambi NP, the stronghold of the species in Tunisia.
Countries occurrence:
Native:
Algeria; Morocco; Tunisia; Western Sahara
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):3300
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Beudels et al. (2013) estimated the total population at 1,750 to 2,950 (Morocco: 900 to 2,000; Algeria: 560; Tunisia: <500). The figure for Morocco includes a recently rediscovered population in the lower Drâa (Cuzin 1996, 2003, Aulagnier et al. 2001, Cuzin et al. 2007). The value for Algeria was taken from De Smet (1991) and that for Tunisia from Kacem et al. (1994) and Smith et al. (2001).

Revised figures reported at the Cuvier's Gazelle conservation strategy workshop in Agadir, October 2015, suggest a population of 2,360-4,560: Morocco - 1,600-3,800, including 935 (597-1,607) in the Aydar and possibly 1,000-2,200 in the western Anti-Atlas; Algeria - 560 (based on De Smet 1991); Tunisia <100. Updated population estimates from Algeria are urgently needed.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:2360-4560Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:No
All individuals in one subpopulation:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Inhabits open semi-arid Mediterranean forests with Pinus halpensis and Juniperus phoenicea, Quercus ilex and Q. suber; maquis, and grassy steppes. In the north-west Sahara of Morocco and Algeria the species also occurs in arid mountains and desert hamada (Beudels et al. 2013).

Recorded up to 3,300 m (F. Cuzin pers. obs. in Beudels et al. 2013) but avoid areas with heavy snow. In the Tiaret region of Algeria, Cuvier's Gazelles may graze in cereal fields (Bounaceur et al. 2015).
Systems:Terrestrial
Generation Length (years):4.1

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Cuvier's Gazelle are hunted for skins, meat and as a trophy, especially since motorized hunting with modern firearms has become feasible. Although increasing legal protection and better protection in reserves has reduced hunting pressure they are still probably the target of a low level general demand for gazelle meat, which is periodically accelerated in association with special occasions.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The major threats to the species are overhunting and habitat degradation, mainly due to the transformation of forests into cropland and pastures for livestock, and for charcoal (Cuzin 2003, Beudels-Jamar et al. 2005). Predation by dogs, on young gazelles at least, is also a threat, and dogs foiled an attempt to reintroduce Cuvier’s Gazelle into Souss-Massa N.P. in Morocco (Loggers et al. 1992). Military operations by the Tunisian army have resulted in bombardment and fires in Djebel Chambi N.P.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Important protected areas across the range include Saharan Atlas N.P., Belezma N.P. and Mergueb N.R. (Algeria), and Djebel Chambi N.P. (Tunisia). Mallon and Kingswood (2001) highlighted Djebel Chambi as of outstanding importance as it holds the largest population in Tunisia and is of key importance for the recolonisation of the Dorsale range, but this population is believed to have been greatly reduced or dispersed. 

A captive population, originating from animals in Morocco, is maintained in Almeria, Spain (Abáigar and Cano 2005).

The species is listed on CITES Appendix III (Tunisia) and CMS Appendix I, and included in the CMS Sahelo-Saharan Antelopes Action Plan. Legally protected in all range states. A project to reintroduce the species to sites in Tunisia is currently planned.

Citation: IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group. 2016. Gazella cuvieri. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T8967A50186003. . Downloaded on 27 September 2016.
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