Antidorcas marsupialis

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA CETARTIODACTYLA BOVIDAE

Scientific Name: Antidorcas marsupialis
Species Authority: (Zimmermann, 1780)
Common Name(s):
English Springbok

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern 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:
Listed as Least Concern as the species is widespread and one of the most abundant antelopes of the southern African region. There are no major threats to its long-term survival and the conservation status of the Springbok is unlikely to change as long as effective management is continued for the populations on private land and in protected areas.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Historically, the Springbok's range covered the central and western regions of southern Africa, with a marginal extension into southwestern Angola. The species still occurs very widely within its historical range, but in Angola it survives in greatly reduced numbers (East 1999, Skinner in press).

In South Africa, the Springbok was exterminated over much of its natural range during the course of the late 1800s as a result of hunting and the effects of rinderpest. However, it has subsequently been reintroduced widely to private land and protected areas throughout its former range. The largest numbers occur on private game farms, mainly in the highveld of the Free State and Gauteng provinces and the Karoo and Kalahari thornveld of the Western, Eastern and Northern Cape provinces.

Smaller, introduced populations occur widely in extralimital areas, e.g., on private land and provincial reserves in parts of KwaZulu-Natal and the northern bushveld (East 1999).
Countries:
Native:
Angola (Angola); Botswana; Namibia; South Africa
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: East (1999) estimated the total population in southern Africa at more than 670,000, noting that it was probably an underestimate. Recent estimates for Namibia alone put the population at 730,000, itself an underestimate (P. Lindeque, in Skinner in press). Elsewhere in the range, Skinner (in press) has estimated that numbers are probably in the order of 10,000 for Angola, 40,000 in the Botswana side of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (and an additional 60,000 at least in the rest of the country), 75,000 in the Free State, 75,000 in the former Transvaal provinces, 1,000,000 in the Karoo and about 100,000 in the Cape provinces outside of the Karoo. Based on these figures the total population size in southern Africa is estimated at ca. 2,000,000 - 2,500,000 animals (Skinner in press).
Population Trend: Increasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: The Springbok formerly occurred in huge numbers in the dry grasslands, bushland and shrubland of south-western and southern Africa, migrating sporadically in vast herds (treckbokken) in some of the southern parts of its range. These migrations or treks no longer occur, but some indication of the species’ former abundance can still be seen in seasonal concentrations on the areas of short vegetation which it prefers, e.g., in parts of the section of the Kalahari which lies in central and southern Botswana (East 1999). Springbok are primarily browsers, but do also take grass, favouring young succulent grass before it begins to lignify (Skinner in press).
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The Springbok is hunted, and traded as live animals, horns, meat, skin, and taxidermy models.
Percentage of animals taken from wild stock, in situ or ex situ ranching is not known from literature consulted.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats to the long-term survival of the species. They do not occur in woodland savanna almost certainly due to the presence of heartwater to which they show no resistance (Neitz 1944).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Springbok are well represented in protected areas throughout their range, including Etosha National Park and Namib-Naukluft Park (Namibia), Makgadikgadi-Nxai Pan National Park (Botswana), the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park between Botswana and South Africa, and Vaalbos and Karoo National Parks and a number of provincial reserves in South Africa. The current status of the population in Iona National Park in Angola, where a population of 2,500 was estimated in 1975, is unknown. Springbok also are well present in private lands, where they are actively managed. East (1999) estimated that about 60% of the total population occurs on private land and 12% in protected areas.

Springbok are amongst the most valued species in the expanding game ranching industry in southern Africa due to the excellent quality of their venison (Skinner in press).

Bibliography [top]

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

Neitz, W. O. 1944. The susceptibility of the Springbuck (Antidorcas marsupialis) to heartwater. Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Science and Animal Industry 20: 25-27.

Skinner, J. D. In press. Antidorcas marsupialis. In: J. S. Kingdon and M. Hoffmann (eds), The Mammals of Africa, Academic Press, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Citation: IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group 2008. Antidorcas marsupialis. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 24 July 2014.
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