Tragelaphus derbianus ssp. derbianus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Cetartiodactyla Bovidae

Scientific Name: Tragelaphus derbianus ssp. derbianus (Gray, 1847)
Parent Species:
Common Name(s):
English Western Giant Eland, Western Derby Eland
French Eland de Derby Occidental
Taxonomic Notes: Grubb (2005) treats this as Taurotragus derbianus derbianus.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered C2a(ii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2016-08-12
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Cooke, R.
Western Giant Eland is listed as Critically Endangered because only an estimated 150-200 animals remain in Senegal (and possibly a few areas of neighbouring Mali and Guinea), well below the threshold of 250 mature individuals. Over 90% these individuals are found in one sub-population in Niokolo-Koba National Park in Senegal.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The Western Giant Eland (T. d. derbianus) has been formerly reported from Senegal to Togo, though its occurrence in Togo might have been a mistaken confusion with Bongo Tragalephaus eurycerus (Grubb et al. 1998). The subspecies is confirmed in south-eastern Senegal, and may occur seasonally in the far north of Guinea, and south-western Mali and possibly E Guinea-Bissau (East 1999, Darroze 2004, Planton and Michaux 2013).

For the distribution map, see the species-level assessment: Tragelaphus derbianus.
Countries occurrence:
Guinea; Mali; Senegal
Regionally extinct:
Côte d'Ivoire; Gambia; Ghana
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Total numbers of the Western Giant Eland are estimated to be 150-200 individuals, with almost all the surviving animals in Senegal (Planton and Michaux 2013).
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:120-150Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Western Giant Eland occurs in drat woodland and bush in the savanna zone.
Generation Length (years):8.0

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The Western Giant Eland is hunted for food and sport. Traditionally, the Fulani people did not hunt them, as they believed it to transmit diseases and cast spells (Brandlová et al. 2013, Planton and Michaux 2013).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The Western Giant Eland has been reduced to very low numbers by factors such as over-hunting for meat and habitat destruction caused by the expansion of human and livestock populations. Its demise in The Gambia has been attributed primarily to the devastating effects of rinderpest, to which it is said to be more susceptible than any other antelope (Camara 1990).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The survival of Western Giant Eland depends on continued protection of the remaining herd in Niokolo-Koba National Park in Senegal. A semi-captive breeding group of Western Giant Eland using founders from Niokolo-Koba was established in 2000 in Bandia Reserve, Senegal. There have been 30 births at Bandia between 2000 and 2006 (M. Antonínová and P. Hejcmanová, in Planton and Michaux 2013), and a second enclosure has been built in Fathala Reserve, to which a male-only group (9) and a breeding nucleus (1, 3) were translocated in mid-2006 (Antonínová et al. 2006). The semi-captive populations in Bandia and Fathala reserves totalled 92 animals in 2013 (Brandlová et al. 2013). A conservation strategy for Western Giant Eland has been developed (Brandlová et al. 2013).

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.5. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
suitability:Suitable season:resident major importance:Yes
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management
3. Species management -> 3.4. Ex-situ conservation -> 3.4.1. Captive breeding/artificial propagation
5. Law & policy -> 5.4. Compliance and enforcement -> 5.4.2. National level

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
  Action Recovery plan:Yes
  Systematic monitoring scheme:No
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
  Percentage of population protected by PAs (0-100):91-100
  Area based regional management plan:No
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.2. Small-holder farming
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Majority (50-90%)   
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion

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%)   
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

8. Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases -> 8.5. Viral/prion-induced diseases -> 8.5.2. Named species
♦ timing:Past, Unlikely to Return ♦ scope:Minority (<50%) ♦ severity:Rapid Declines ⇒ Impact score:Past Impact 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

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]

Antonínová, M., Hejcmanová, P., Váhala, J., Mojžíšová, L., Akakpo, A.J.B. and Verner, P.H. 2006. Immobilization and transport of Western giant eland (Taurotragus derbianus derbianus) from the Bandia reserve to the Fathala reserve in Senegal. Gazella 33: 75-98.

Brandlová, K., Mallon, D., Hejcmanova, P., Regnaut, S., Vymyslicka, P.J., Fedorova, T., Zackova, M., Brandl, P. and Ndiaye, S. 2013. Western Derby Eland (Taurotragus derbianus derbianus) conservation strategy. Czech University of Life Sciences, Prague.

Camara, A. 1990. Gambia. In: R. East (ed.), Antelopes: Global Survey and Regional Action Plans. Part 3: West and Central Africa., pp. 33-35. IUCN, Gland and Cambridge.

Darroze, S. 2004. Western Giant Eland (Tragelaphus derbianus derbianus) presence confirmed in mali and Guinea. Antelope Survey Update No. 9: November 2004. IUCN/SSC Antelope Specialist Group Report, pp. 21-23. Fondation Internationale pour la Sauvegarde de la Faune, Paris, France.

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

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

Grubb, P. 2005. Order Artiodactyla. In: D.E. Wilson and D.M. Reeder (eds). Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD.

Grubb, P., Jones, T.S., Davies, A.G., Edberg, E., Starin, A.D. and Hill, J.E. 1998. Mammals of Ghana, Sierra Leone and the Gambia. Trendrine Press, St. Ives, UK.

IUCN. 2017. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2017-2. Available at: (Accessed: 14 September 2017).

Planton, H. and Michaux, I. 2013. Tragelaphus derbianus. In: J. S. Kingdon and M. Hoffmann (eds), The Mammals of Africa. VI. Pigs, Hippopotamuses, Chevrotain, Giraffes, Deer, and Bovids, Bloomsbury Publishing, London, UK.

Citation: IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group. 2017. Tragelaphus derbianus ssp. derbianus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T22056A50197188. . Downloaded on 24 June 2018.
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