Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Cetartiodactyla Bovidae

Scientific Name: Nanger dama
Species Authority: (Pallas, 1766)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Dama Gazelle, Addra Gazelle
French Gazelle Dama
Spanish Gacela Dama
Gazella dama (Pallas, 1766)
Taxonomic Notes: Usually included in the genus Gazella, Dama Gazelle is here included in the genus Nanger, along with Soemmering's Gazelle N. soemmerringi and Grant's Gazelle N. granti, following (Groves 2000 in press, Grubb 2005). Cano (1984) recognized three subspecies (provisionally retained by Scholte in press).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered A2cd; C2a(i) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Newby, J., Wacher, T., Lamarque, F., Cuzin, F. & de Smet, K.
Reviewer(s): Mallon, D.P. (Antelope Red List Authority) & Hoffmann, M. (Global Mammal Assessment)
The sustained decline due to uncontrolled hunting and habitat loss has continued and is now estimated to have exceeded 80% over 10 years. Extensive field surveys have been made since 2001, but all subpopulations encountered are very small, with all at risk from unmanaged large-scale hunting, and the total population certainly numbers well less than 500 individuals. Decline is expected to continue based on ongoing hunting and unpredictable arrival of large hunting parties with high destructive potential from the Gulf states. The Dama Gazelle is following the same trail into extinction in the wild as the Scimitar-horned Oryx.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2006 Critically Endangered (CR)
1996 Endangered (EN)
1994 Endangered (E)
1990 Endangered (E)
1988 Vulnerable (V)
1986 Vulnerable (V)
1965 Status inadequately known-survey required or data sought

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Formerly widespread in the Sahara and Sahel zones, but their range and numbers have been extremely reduced. In North Africa, Dama Gazelle are now probably extinct, although they may survive in the Drâa (where observations were made by nomads in 1993) (Cuzin 1996; Aulagnier et al. 2001). It is also possible, though increasingly unlikely, that they may survive in very small numbers along the border between southern Morocco and Mauritania (Cuzin et al. in press). They may also survive in the Tassili de Tin Rehror in southern Algeria (K. De Smet pers. comm.). In Tunisia, they are believed to have occurred in the south and to have disappeared before the 20th century (Smith et al. 2001).

South of the Sahara, Dama Gazelle are still present in eastern Mali, Air and Termit/Tin Toumma in Niger, and in the Chadian Manga and Ouadi Rimé Ouadi Achim Nature Reserve in Chad (Scholte in press, and references therein); however, aerial and ground surveys of Termit-Tin Toumma in 2007 failed to record any Dama Gazelles (Wacher et al. 2007). They are now thought to be extinct in Mauritania, and are probably extinct in Nigeria, Burkina Faso, and Libya (see Scholte in press for summary, and references therein). There are no recent confirmed records from the Sudan, although East (1999) mentioned it could still occur at low densities in Northern Darfur and Northern Kordofan.
Countries occurrence:
Chad; Mali; Niger
Regionally extinct:
Libya; Mauritania; Morocco; Nigeria; Tunisia
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Numbers of Dama Gazelle have declined drastically since the 1950s and 1960s. The early 1970s population in the Ouadi Rime - Ouadi Achim Faunal Reserve in Chad, one of the former strongholds of the species, was estimated at 10,000-12,000 individuals, but today the species is very rare in this reserve (J. Newby, in Scholte in press). Known remnant populations are all very small and extremely fragmented; the only known populations of any size are in Manga (Chad), eastern Air (Niger), and the Mali/Niger border area. In all areas surveyed, numbers have been very low and the size of observed gazelle groups very small (range=1-5 individuals) (Lamarque et al. 2007). Subpopulations probably number around 20 individuals in all cases, are separated by hundreds of kilometers, and the total current wild population is certainly less than 500 individuals (J. Newby pers. comm.).
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Inhabits Sahelian grasslands, sparsely wooded savanna and sub-desert steppes with Acacia and Panicum vegetation; usually avoids really sandy areas, but will frequent low mountains and mountain plateaus, probably as refugia. In southern Morocco, it was found in areas without any Acacia, but with dense shrub cover (Cuzin 2003).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The main threats to this species include uncontrolled hunting (by nomads, military and by Arab hunting parties), and habitat loss and degradation due to overgrazing by domestic livestock (and the impact of expanded livestock rearing due to well construction in preferred habitats). Prolonged drought is also having an impact on pasture quality (Lafontaine et al. 2005; Scholte in press).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Listed on CMS Appendix I, and included in the CMS Sahelo-Saharan Antelopes Action Plan (Lafontaine et al. 2005). It is listed on CITES Appendix I.

The Réserve partielle de faune du Bahr-el-Ghazal (Chad), west of the present Ouadi Rimé Ouadi Achim N.R., and the Aïr-Ténéré N.P., harbour the remaining viable Dama Gazelle populations. Both reserves have suffered from military unrest resulting in the collapse of conservation infrastructure (Scholte in press; K. de Smet pers. comm. 2007).

Dama Gazelle are present in captivity, but the number of founders is limited (Sausman 1998; Thuesen 1998). Animals from Almeria breeding facility in Spain were introduced to an enclosure (R'mila Royal Reserve) in Morocco (130 present in 2007; Cuzin et al. in press) and gazelles from München Zoo (originally bred at Almeria) were released into an enclosure in Souss-Massa N.P. (12 animals in 2006); these semi-captives are intended to form part of a reintroduction programme in Morocco. All of the animals from Almeria stock originate from Western Sahara. Elsewhere, Dama Gazelle were released into the 2,000-ha Bou-Hedma N.P. in Tunisia in the early 1990s (Abaigar et al. 1997) where around 17 were present in 2006 (T. Wacher pers. comm.); gazelles have also been reintroduced to Guembeul Faunal Reserve in Senegal (Cano et al. 1993) and a reintroduction programme in Ferlo North Reserve is underway (7 animals).

Classifications [top]

2. Savanna -> 2.1. Savanna - Dry
suitability: Suitable  
4. Grassland -> 4.5. Grassland - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
suitability: Suitable  
8. Desert -> 8.1. Desert - Hot
suitability: Suitable  
1. Land/water protection -> 1.1. Site/area protection
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management
3. Species management -> 3.2. Species recovery
5. Law & policy -> 5.4. Compliance and enforcement -> 5.4.1. International level

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
  Successfully reintroduced or introduced beningly:Yes
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:Yes
In-Place Education
  Included in international legislation:Yes
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:Yes
2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.3. Livestock farming & ranching -> 2.3.1. Nomadic grazing
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.1. Intentional use (species is the target)
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

6. Human intrusions & disturbance -> 6.1. Recreational activities
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.2. Species disturbance

6. Human intrusions & disturbance -> 6.2. War, civil unrest & military exercises
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.2. Species disturbance

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

♦  Food - human
 Local : ✓ 

♦  Sport hunting/specimen collecting
 National : ✓  International : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

Abaigar, T., Cano, M., Espeso, G. and Ortiz, J. 1997. Introduction of Mhorr gazelle Gazella dama mhorr in Bou-Hedma National Park, Tunisia. International Zoo Yearbook 35: 311-316.

Aulagnier, S., Cuzin, F., Thevenot, M. and Loggers, C. 2001. Morocco. In: D. P. Mallon and S. C. Kingswood (eds), Antelopes. Part 4: North Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Global Survey and Regional Action Plans, pp. 13-21. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.

Cano, M. 1984. Revision der systematik von Gazella (Nanger) dama. Zeitschrift des kölner Zoo 27: 103-107.

Cano, M., Abaigar, T. and Vericad, J. R. 1993. Establishment of a group of Dama gazelles for reintroduction in Senegal. International Zoo Yearbook 32: 98-107.

Cuzin, F. 1996. Current state of large, wild mammals in Morocco (Primates, Carnivores, Artiodactyls). Mammalia 60: 101-124.

Cuzin, F., Sehhar, E. A. and Wacher, T. 2007. Etude pour l'élaboration de lignes directrices et d'un plan d'action stratégique pour la conservation des ongulés au Maroc. Haut Commissariat aux Eaux et Forêts et à la Lutte Contre le Désertification (HEFLCD), Projet de Gestion des Aires Protégées (PGAP) et Banque Mondiale, Global Environment Facility (GEF). Two volumes.

East, R. 1999. African Antelope Database 1999. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

Groves, C. P. 2000. Phylogenetic relationships within Antilopini (Bovidae). In: Vrba, E.S. and Schaller, G.B. (eds), Antelopes, Deer, and Relatives: Fossil Record, Behavioral Ecology, Systematics and Conservation, pp. 223–233. Yale University Press, New Haven, Connecticut, USA and London, UK.

Grubb, P. 2005. Artiodactyla. In: D.E. Wilson and D.M. Reeder (eds), Mammal Species of the World. A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed), pp. 637-722. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA.

IUCN. 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Available at: (Accessed: 5 October 2008).

Lafontaine, R.-M., Beudels-Jamar, R. C. and Devillers, P. 2005. Gazella dama. In: R. C. Beudels, P. Devillers, R. -M. Lafontaine, J. Devillers-Terschuren, and M. -O. Beudels (eds), Sahelo-Saharan Antelopes. Status and Perspectives. Report on the conservation status of the six Sahelo-Saharan Antelopes. UNEP/CMS Secretariat, Bonn, Germany.

Lamarque, F., Sid'Ahmed, A. A., Bouju, S., Coulibaly, G. and Maïga, D. 2007. Confirmation of the survival of the Critically Endangered dama gazelle Gazella dama in south Tamesna, Mali. Oryx 41: 109-112.

Loggers, C., Thévenot, M. and Aulagnier, S. 1992. Status and distribution of Moroccan wild ungulates. Biological Conservation 59: 9-18.

Mallon, D. P. and Kingswood, S. C. 2001. Antelopes. Part 4: North Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Global Survey and Regional Action Plans. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.

Sausman, K. 1998. Mhorr Gazelle Gazella dama mhorr. North American Regional Studbook. The Living Desert.

Scholte, P. In press. Nanger dama. In: J. S. Kingdon and M. Hoffmann (eds), The Mammals of Africa, Academic Press, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Smith, T. R., Mallon, D. P. and De Smet, K. 2001. Tunisia. In: D. P. Mallon and S. C. Kingswood (eds), Antelopes. Part 4: North Africa, the Middle East, amd Asia. Global Survey and Regional Action Plans, IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.

Thuesen, L. 1998. Addra Gazelle Gazella dama ruficollis. North American Regional Studbook. Historical Update. Disney's Animal Kingdom.

Wacher, T., Rabeil, T. and Newby, J. 2007. Aerial survey of the Termit and Tin Toumma regions of Niger – November 2007. Sahelo-Saharan Antelope Project (Niger). Sahara Conservation Fund.

Citation: Newby, J., Wacher, T., Lamarque, F., Cuzin, F. & de Smet, K. 2008. Nanger dama. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T8968A12941085. . Downloaded on 09 October 2015.
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