Kobus kob ssp. leucotis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Cetartiodactyla Bovidae

Scientific Name: Kobus kob ssp. leucotis (Lichtenstein & Peters, 1853)
Parent Species:
See Kobus kob
Common Name(s):
English White-eared Kob
Taxonomic Notes: Lorenzen et al. (2007) question the taxonomic status of K. k. kob and K. k. thomasi as two separate subspecies due to the similarity of their mtDNA sequences (although they are phenotypically distinct).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-01-07
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Hoffmann, M.
Listed as Least Concern as large numbers survive (>753,000) and there is no evidence to support a recent population decline of a magnitude that is close to the threshold for Vulnerable under criterion A. Major changes affecting the Sudd ecosystem through damming or diversion of water may lead to a rapid decline and necessitate a reassessment.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:White-eared kob has a restricted distribution in the floodplains east of the Nile in South Sudan and the Gambella region of SW Ethiopia; vagrants are recorded in NE Uganda (Fisher 2013). For map see species account.
Countries occurrence:
Ethiopia; South Sudan
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:An aerial survey of part of Southern Sudan carried out by WCS in 2007 produced a population estimate of >758,000 (Fay et al. 2007). An aerial survey of Gambella NP, Ethiopia, in April 2015 estimated 428,468 (IGAD/BMP 2015), most or all seasonal migrants. The current population trend is unknown.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:The subspecies occupies floodplains and seasonally flooded grasslands. Undertakes seasonal migrations.
Generation Length (years):4.5
Movement patterns:Full Migrant

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The tendency of Kobs to occur in relatively large concentrations in open areas make them highly susceptible to hunting. This has led to high levels of unsustainable hunting over most of their range and therefore large-scale declines (Fischer 2013). However under strict protection Kob numbers can recover quickly, allowing sustainable off-takes of about 7% of the population (Mayaka et al. 2004). Heavy hunting of White-eared Kob was suspected during periods of civil unrest and military conflict in the 1980s-1990s (East 1999), but the latest survey information suggests that large numbers have survived.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): In 1989-1992 reportedly subject to heavy hunting by military personnel (East 1999). The long-delayed Jonglei canal and proposed dams in the upper Nile catchment and consequent changes to the hydrological regime are potentially serious threats, as are proposals for conversion of land in the region to large-scale agricultural production.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Occurs in Boma, Badingilo NPs and Zeraf Game Reserve (South Sudan) and Gambella NP (Ethiopia). Boma NP and Gambella NP habour very large numbers seasonally (Fay et al. 2007, IGAD/BMP 2015) and are crucial to the survival of the White-eared Kob.

Classifications [top]

4. Grassland -> 4.6. Grassland - Subtropical/Tropical Seasonally Wet/Flooded
suitability:Suitable season:resident major importance:Yes
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.8. Wetlands (inland) - Seasonal/Intermittent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha)
suitability:Marginal season:resident 
1. Land/water protection -> 1.1. Site/area protection

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
  Action Recovery plan:No
  Systematic monitoring scheme:Yes
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
  Area based regional management plan:No
  Invasive species control or prevention:No
In-Place Species Management
  Harvest management plan:No
  Successfully reintroduced or introduced beningly:No
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:No
In-Place Education
  Subject to recent education and awareness programmes:No
  Included in international legislation:Yes
2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.2. Small-holder farming
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Minority (<50%) ♦ severity:Negligible declines ⇒ Impact score:Low Impact: 4 
→ 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 ♦ scope:Majority (50-90%) ♦ severity:Rapid Declines ⇒ Impact score:Medium Impact: 7 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

7. Natural system modifications -> 7.2. Dams & water management/use -> 7.2.11. Dams (size unknown)
♦ timing:Future ♦ scope:Majority (50-90%) ♦ severity:Rapid Declines ⇒ Impact score:Low Impact: 5 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.2. Species disturbance

1. Research -> 1.1. Taxonomy
1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends
3. Monitoring -> 3.2. Harvest level trends

Bibliography [top]

East, R. (compiler). 1999. African Antelope Database 1998. IUCN/SSC Antelope Specialist Group, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

Fay, M., Elkan, P., Marjan, M. and Grossman, F. 2007. Aerial Surveys of Wildlife, Livestock, and Human Activity in and around Existing and Proposed Protected Areas of Southern Sudan, Dry Season 2007. WCS – Southern Sudan Technical Report.

Fischer, F. 2013. Kobus kob Kob. In: J. S. Kingdon and M. Hoffmann (eds), The Mammals of Africa, pp. 439-444. Bloomsbury Publishing, London, UK.

IGAD/BMP. 2015. Aerial survey of Gambella National Park and surrounding areas. Dry season, April 2015 . IGAD / BMP.

IUCN. 2016. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016-2. Available at: (Accessed: 04 September 2016).

Lorenzen, E. D., de Neergaard, R., Arctander, P. and Siegismund H. R. 2007. Phylogeography, hybridization and Pleistocene refugia of the kob antelope (Kobus kob). Molecular Ecology 16: 3241-3252.

Citation: IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group. 2016. Kobus kob ssp. leucotis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T11042A50190165. . Downloaded on 20 April 2018.
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