Gazella gazella

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA CETARTIODACTYLA BOVIDAE

Scientific Name: Gazella gazella
Species Authority: (Pallas, 1766)
Common Name(s):
English Mountain Gazelle, Idmi
French Gazelle D'Arabie, Gazelle Edmi
Spanish Gacela Idmi
Taxonomic Notes: Several subspecies have been named and five of these have previously been evaluated for the IUCN Red List: Acacia Gazelle G. g. acaciae; Arabian Mountain Gazelle G. g. cora; Farasan Island Gazelle G. g. farasani (first described as distinct by Thouless and Al Bassri 1991); Palestine Mountain Gazelle G. g. gazella; and Muscat Gazelle G. g. muscatensis. Neumann's Gazelle G. g. erlangeri was treated by Grubb (2005) as a distinct species, following Groves (1997). G. g. darehshourii from Farur Island, Iran was described as a new subspecies by Karami and Groves (1986), but these gazelles were introduced and their origin is unknown.

Genetic research by scientists at King Khaled Wildlife Research Centre (Saudi Arabia) and Zoological Society of London has confirmed the existence of intraspecific variation, but details of this, as well as the relationship of G. gazella to G. bilkis still await confirmation. This assessment is confined to the species G. gazella until the issue of possible subspecies has been clarified.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable A2ad ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Mallon, D.P. (Antelope Red List Authority) & Hoffmann, M. (Global Mammal Assessment)
Justification:
This taxon is widely but unevenly distributed across the Arabian Peninsula. The two largest populations have declined at different rates, but overall there has been a continuing estimated decline exceeding 30% over the past three generations (18 years) based on direct census information and evidence of illegal hunting and live capture.
History:
2003 Vulnerable (IUCN 2003)
2003 Vulnerable
1996 Lower Risk/conservation dependent (Baillie and Groombridge 1996)
1994 Vulnerable (Groombridge 1994)
1990 Vulnerable (IUCN 1990)
1988 Vulnerable (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1988)
1986 Vulnerable (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1986)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Formerly occurred across most of the Arabian Peninsula, north to southern Syria and extending westwards into Sinai. The last confirmed records for Egypt were in 1932 though there have been some recent unconfirmed reports (Saleh 2001). There have been no records in Syria since the 1970s (Kingswood et al. 2001), although they may survive on Jabal Hermon and perhaps in upper Galilee (Masseti 2004). In Lebanon, the species was believed to have become extinct after 1945, but three were seen in 1998 in the Barouk Mountains (Kingswood and Khairallah 2001). The last record from Jordan was in 1986 (Kiwan et al. 2001), although Masseti (2004) notes that they were reintroduced into Shaumari Wildlife Reserve.

Their current range includes: Israel (widely distributed); Saudi Arabia (occurs on the Farasan islands, in three protected areas, and as scattered populations in the west); Oman (widely distributed, with the largest population in the Arabian Oryx Sanctuary); United Arab Emirates and Yemen, mainly from the west and south. There is also a small introduced population on Farur Island (Iran) in the Persian Gulf (Mallon and Kingswood 2001).
Countries:
Native:
Israel; Oman; Saudi Arabia; United Arab Emirates; Yemen
Possibly extinct:
Jordan
Regionally extinct:
Egypt; Syrian Arab Republic
Introduced:
Iran, Islamic Republic of
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Total numbers are currently estimated at less than 15,000: Israel (approximately 3,000); Oman (approximately 13,000 were estimated in the late 1990s, with 10,000 on the Jiddat al Harasis, although this population has been declining since then; Saudi Arabia (1,500-1,700, but up to 1,000 of these are on the Farasan Islands, with over half of them on Farasan Kebir); Yemen (no estimates but generally described as rare). Numbers of gazelles in Israel and the West Bank (usually considered to be G. g. gazella) were estimated at 10,000 in the late 1990s (Clark and Frankenberg 2001). Since then they have declined sharply and there are currently estimated to be about 3,000 in total.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Inhabits a range of desert and semi-desert habitats. They often occur in steep terrain, but avoid rocky areas, and can withstand severe climatic conditions, living in the hot and dry Jordan Valley, the Negev Desert, and the Nafud and Dhofar Deserts (Mendelssohn et al. 1995).

In Israel, the gazelles of the Arava Valley (Gazella gazella acaciae) are found in arid habitats dominated by acacia (Acacia raddiana and A. tortilis); Palestine Mountain Gazelle (G. g. gazella) are found in hilly regions with good vegetative cover, especially in areas near irrigated cultivation.

The gazelles on Farasan Island inhabit areas of broken coral ravines and flat gravel. They apparently emerge to feed at night mainly on Cyperus., and obtain water mainly from dew (Flamand et al. 1988).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The major threats are illegal hunting for meat and live capture for pets and private collections, particularly in Oman, Yemen and Saudi Arabia. Habitat loss through agricultural development, fencing pasture for cattle, construction of roads and settlement is also a major threat.

In the Arava Valley, the major threat to the Acacia Gazelle is habitat deterioration: the water table is falling due to abstraction of underground water sources for agriculture causing acacia trees, bushes and perennial plants to disappear. Predation by wolves (Canis lupus) and jackals (C. aureus) has also increased. The small size of the remnant population means that inbreeding is a threat and leaves the taxon vulnerable to stochastic factors.

The Palestine Mountain Gazelle was formerly hunted under license in Israel and was regarded in places as an agricultural pest. Shooting was legally halted in 1993 due to declining numbers.

There are no natural predators on the Farasan Islands so overgrazing is a potential future problem if the population increases. Hunting (killed for meat) and live trapping (for sale as pets on the mainland) are the main threats but the effect of these has fallen since the islands were declared a reserve.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Mountain Gazelle are legally protected in Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Oman, but enforcement is not always effective. They occur in the following protected areas:

Saudi Arabia: Uruq Bani Ma’arid (5,500 km²); Al Khunfah (34,225 km²); and Ibex Reserve (2,370 km²) (all Arabian Mountain Gazelle). The Farasan Islands (600 km²) have been a nature reserve under the control of the National Commission for Wildlife Conservation and Development (NCWCD) since 1988, and aerial censuses are carried out by NCWCD on the Farasan Islands, at 2-3 yearly intervals.

Oman: Arabian Oryx Sanctuary (24,785 km²); Wadi Sareen Tahr Reserve (800 km²); Jebel Samhan NR (4,500 km²), As Saleel NP (220 km²) (all Arabian Mountain Gazelle).

Israel: En Gedi (14 km²); Ya’ar Yehudia (62 km²); Mezukai Herev (23 km²). The current habitat in the Arava Valley is protected, and supplementary feed is provided and natural vegetation irrigated. However, an evaluation of predator control in the area is recommended.

Bibliography [top]

Blank, D. A. 1996. The acacia gazelle: extinction of a subspecies. Gnusletter 15(2): 7-9.

Clark, B. and Frankenberg, E. 2001. Chapter 19. Israel. In: D. P. Mallon S. C. Kingswood (ed.), Antelopes. Part 4: North Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Global Survey and Regional Action Plans., pp. 107-111. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.

Flammand, J. R. B., Thouless, C. R., Tatwany, H. and Asmodé, J. F. 1998. Status of the gazelles of the Farasan Islands, Saudi Arabia. Mammalia 52: 608-610.

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.

Hemami, M. R. and Groves, C. P. 2001. Iran. 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. 114-118. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.

Insall, D. H. 2001. Oman. 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. 69-73. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.

Karami, M. and Groves, C. P. 1993. A mammal species new for Iran: Gazella gazella Pallas, 1766 (Artiodactyla, Bovidae). Journal of Sciences of the Islamic Republic of Iran 4: 81-89.

Kingswood, S. C. and Khairallah, N. H. 2001. Lebanon. 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. 99-101. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.

Kingswood, S. C., Wardeh, M. F. and Williamson, D. T. 2001. Syria. 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. 93-98. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.

Kiwan, K., Boef, J. and Boudari, A. 2001. Jordan. In: D. P. Mallon and S. C. Kingswood (eds), Antelopes. Part 4: North Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Global Survey and Refional Action Plans, pp. 102-106. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.

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.

Masseti, M. 2004. Artiodactyls of Syria. Zoology in the Middle East 33: 139-148.

Mendelssohn, H., Yom-Tov, Y. and Groves, C. P. 1995. Gazella gazella. Mammalian Species 490: 1-7.

Saleh, M. A. 2001. Chapter 7. Egypt. In: D. P. Mallon and S. C. Kingswood (eds), Global survey and regional action plans: Antelopes. Part 4: North Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, pp. 48-54. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.

Thouless, C. R. and Al Bassri, K. 1991. Taxonomic status of the Farasan Island gazelle. Journal of Zoology (London) 223: 151-159.


Citation: IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group 2008. Gazella gazella. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 30 October 2014.
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