Tragelaphus angasii

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA CETARTIODACTYLA BOVIDAE

Scientific Name: Tragelaphus angasii
Species Authority: Angas, 1849
Common Name(s):
English Nyala

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:
While Nayla have been severely depleted in the past, total population numbers have been estimated at ca. 32,000, with over 80% in protected areas and 10-15% on private land. Population trends are generally stable or increasing. It therefore does not currently meet the criteria for threatened status or for Near Threatened. As long as effective protection and management are maintained in the key protected areas for this species and its numbers continue to increase on private land, its status is unlikely to change. Its long-term survival will be further enhanced if the current efforts to rehabilitate the wildlife of areas such as Gorongosa, Banhine and Zinave National Parks, Gaza Province and the Maputo reserve in Mozambique are successful.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The Nyala's natural range comprises south-eastern Africa from the Lower Shire Valley in Malawi through Mozambique and Zimbabwe to eastern South Africa and Swaziland. It has been introduced to Namibia on private land in the northern commercial farming districts. Likewise it does not occur naturally in Botswana, but some of the Tuli block farms in the east have been colonised as a result of the spread of Nyala from populations introduced to farms in the adjacent region of South Africa (East 1999; Anderson in press).

In Swaziland, the species was extinct by the 1950s, but they have been successfully reintroduced.
Countries:
Native:
Malawi; Mozambique; South Africa; Swaziland; Zimbabwe
Introduced:
Botswana; Namibia
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: East (1999) estimated the total population of Nyala to exceed around 32,000 individuals.

More recently, Anderson (in press) estimates that South Africa has at least 30,000, with the largest populations (25,000) in KwaZulu-Natal. There are now more than 1,000 on protected areas and ranches in Swaziland (Monadjem 1998). Nyala are still widespread in Mozambique but numbers probably do not exceed 3,000 (Anderson in press). Zimbabwe has more than 1,000, while numbers in Malawi have declined from 3,000 (East 1999) to about 1,500, most notably in the population in Lengwe N.P. (which was originally created especially for this species). Extralimital to the species’ natural range, Namibia has about 250, all on private ranches.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: An inhabitant of dense thickets, forest, and open-thicket woodland mosaic, generally near water. Nyala feed selectively on both the leaves and fruits of woody plants as well as grasses; although they drink daily where water is available, in parts of their range in Mozambique and Zimbabwe they are found where no surface water is present for several months of the year (Anderson in press).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The Nyala disappeared from extensive areas of its former range mainly due to habitat loss to agriculture and cattle grazing, and the combined effects of rinderpest and hunting. However, today they remain relatively widespread both within and outside of their former range. There are no current major threats to Nyala populations, although some protected area populations have undergone declines, notably that in Lengwe N.P.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Over 80% of the estimated total population occurs in protected areas (East 1999). The major populations survive in South African protected areas in the KwaZulu-Natal Game Reserves of Ndumo, uMkuze and Hluhluwe-Umfolozi, and in Kruger N.P. (East 1999; Anderson in press). Nyala also occur in substantial numbers on private land (10-15%) in South Africa, including extralimital areas (East 1999). The dispersion of Nyala and their increase in numbers in South Africa is due primarily to the high demand for adult males by trophy hunters (Anderson in press). Nyala respond well to protection, to the point where over-population can become a management problem. The current efforts to rehabilitate Mozambique’s wildlife offer the prospect that the nyala may recover its former abundance in areas such as Gorongosa and Banhine National Parks (East 1999).

Bibliography [top]

Anderson, J. In press. Tragelaphus angasii. In: J. S. Kingdon and M. Hoffmann (eds), The Mammals of Africa, Academic Press, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

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

Monadjem, A. 1998. Mammals of Swaziland. The Conservation Trust of Swaziland and Big Game Parks.


Citation: IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group 2008. Tragelaphus angasii. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 22 September 2014.
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