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Dorcatragus megalotis 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Cetartiodactyla Bovidae

Scientific Name: Dorcatragus megalotis
Species Authority: (Menges, 1894)
Common Name(s):
English Beira, Beira Antelope
French Beira
Oreotragus megalotis Menges, 1894
Taxonomic Notes: Monotypic genus.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable C1 ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-01-07
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Hoffmann, M. & Mallon, D.
Listed as Vulnerable as there are estimated to be <10,000 mature individuals and a continuing and projected decline of at least 10% over three generations (12 years) as a result of habitat degradation through drought, overgrazing by domestic livestock, cutting of shade trees for charcoal, and some hunting.
Previously published Red List assessments:
  • 2008 – Vulnerable (VU)
  • 2007 – Vulnerable (VU)
  • 1996 – Vulnerable (VU)
  • 1994 – Insufficiently Known (K)
  • 1990 – Insufficiently Known (K)
  • 1988 – Insufficiently Known (K)
  • 1986 – Insufficiently Known (K)
  • 1965 – Status inadequately known-survey required or data sought

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Endemic to northeast Africa, from the far south of Djibouti across northern Somalia and extending marginally into Ethiopia. Most of the distribution lies in northern Somalia [Somaliland], from the western border with Djibouti, east into the Puntland region and the Nogaal Valley. From historical and recent information the core areas of the population are: Asse hills-Lahan Sheik, Garoowe area (Bur Cobohille), Wagar, Buuraha, Araweina, Ali Haidh and Guban region, but it may occur widely in suitable habitat across this region (Giotto et al. 2013, Mallon and Jama 2015).

The species’ existence in Djibouti was only confirmed in 1993, when they were observed on hillsides at two sites in the southeast, close to the borders with Somalia and Ethiopia (Künzel and Künzel 1998). Recent surveys have shown that the area of distribution in Djibouti is about 250 km² and located in the mountainous Ali Sabieh - Arrey - Assamo region (Künzel et al. 2000, Laurent and Laurent 2002, Heckel et al. 2004).

In Ethiopia, the species is known from the Marmar mountains along the border with north-west Somalia (Bolton 1973). No recent information is available on its status in this part of the country, where large numbers of armed pastoralists and their livestock now reside.

In Somaliland it remains widely distributed and may occur at many sites with suitable habitat (Mallon and Jama 2015).
Countries occurrence:
Djibouti; Somalia
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):1800
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:East (1999) estimated the population at 7,000 based on the assumption that a population density of 0.2 /km² applied throughout the species’ range, and that its area of occupancy is about 35,000 km². Most occur in northern Somalia, which has been relatively unaffected by the civil/military conflicts in the rest of the country. Its numbers may be decreasing in some parts of its range where settlement is expanding and livestock densities are high, but its populations are probably stable in areas with few settlements.

In Djibouti, the total population has been estimated at between 50 and 150 individuals (Künzel and Künzel 1998, Laurent et al. 2002, Heckel et al. 2004). In Djibouti, Beira are restricted to a limited area and likely decreasing in number due to desertification by overgrazing and disturbance from an incoming population of refugees. In Somalia, animals underwent a marked decline in number during the 1975 drought (Simonetta 1988).
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:7000Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Beira frequent rocky or stony hillsides, and slopes, where the dominant vegetation is a woody steppe of mixed Acacia scrub (Giotto et al. 2013). In Somaliland many sites are on flat-topped hills with steep stony sides (Mallon and Jama 2015).
Generation Length (years):4.0

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Hunting at occurs at a low level. Some animals reportedly live-caught in Somaliland for export to the Gulf region (Mallon and Jama 2015).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Drought, habitat deterioration as a result of overgrazing by domestic livestock, uncontrolled hunting and cutting of woodland and scrub for charcoal exports to the Gulf area (Moustapha Elmi 1992, East 1999). Charcoal production has greatly increased and poses a threat through removal of essential shade trees. The Beira’s small size, wariness, and the rocky habitat it prefers may enable it to avoid heavy hunting pressure.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no protected areas within Beira range or active in situ conservation programmes for the species. There was a successful captive-breeding population at Al Wabra, Qatar, but numbers here have decreased considerably.

Classifications [top]

3. Shrubland -> 3.5. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
suitability: Suitable season: resident 
0. Root -> 6. Rocky areas (eg. inland cliffs, mountain peaks)
suitability: Suitable season: resident 
1. Land/water protection -> 1.1. Site/area protection
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
  Action Recovery plan:No
  Systematic monitoring scheme:No
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over part of range
  Occur in at least one PA:No
  Percentage of population protected by PAs (0-100):0
  Area based regional management plan:No
  Invasive species control or prevention:Not Applicable
In-Place Species Management
  Harvest management plan:No
  Successfully reintroduced or introduced beningly:No
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:Yes
In-Place Education
  Subject to recent education and awareness programmes:Yes
  Included in international legislation:No
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:No
2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.3. Livestock farming & ranching -> 2.3.4. Scale Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing: Ongoing ♦ scope: Minority (<50%) ♦ severity: Unknown ⇒ Impact score: Unknown 
→ 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    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

5. Biological resource use -> 5.3. Logging & wood harvesting -> 5.3.4. Unintentional effects: (large scale)
♦ timing: Ongoing ♦ scope: Majority (50-90%)   
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

6. Human intrusions & disturbance -> 6.2. War, civil unrest & military exercises
♦ timing: Ongoing ♦ scope: Minority (<50%) ♦ severity: Negligible declines ⇒ Impact score: Low Impact: 4 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.2. Species disturbance

11. Climate change & severe weather -> 11.2. Droughts
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

Bibliography [top]

Bolton, M. 1973. Notes on the current status and distribution of some large mammals in Ethiopia. Mammalia. 37: 562-586.

East, R. (Compiler). 1999. African Antelope Database 1998. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

Giotto, N., Laurent, A. and Künzel, T. 2013. Dorcatragus megalotis. In: J. S. Kingdon and M. Hoffmann (eds), The Mammals of Africa, Academic Press, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Heckel, J.-O., Rayaleh, H. A., Hammer, S. C. and Künzel, T. 2004. Status of the Beira antelope (Dorcatragus megalotis) in the Republic of Djibouti. Report at the International Symposium on the Ecology and Conservation of Mini-Antelope. Blue Bay Beach Resort, Kiwengwa, Zanzibar.

Hunt, J.A. 1951. A general survey of the Somaliland Protectorate 1944-1950. Crown Agents, London, UK.

IUCN. 2016. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016-1. Available at: (Accessed: 30 June 2016).

Künzel, T. and Künzel, S. 1998. An overlooked population of the beira antelope Dorcatragus megalotis in Djibouti. Oryx 32: 75-80.

Künzel, T., Rayaleh, H.A. and Künzel, S. 2000. Status Assessment Survey on Wildlife in Djibouti. Final Report. Zoological Society for the Conservation of Species and Populations (Z.S.C.S.P.) and Office National du Tourisme et de l’Artisanat (O.N.T.A.).

Laurent, A. and Laurent, D. 2002. Djibouti: Les mammiferes d’hier a aujourd-hui pour demain. Editions Beira, Toulouse.

Laurent, A., Prévot, N. and Mallet, B. 2002. Original data in ecology, behaviour, status, historic and present distribution of the Beira Dorcatragus megalotis (Bovidae: Antilopinae) in the Republic of Djibouti and adjacent territories of Somalia and Ethiopia. Mammalia 66(1): 1-16.

Mallon, D.P. and Jama, A.A. 2015. Current staus of antelopes in Somaliland. IUCN/SSC Antelope Specialist Group and Nature Somaliland.

Moustapha Elmi. 1992. Compte-rendu de mission sur le Beira Dorcatragus megalotis, Somalie du nord, 1-10/8/92. Report for the Association Djiboutienne pour la Nature (A.D.N.), Djibouti.

Simonetta, A.M. 1988. Chapter 6: Somalia. In: R. East (ed.), Antelopes Global Survey and Regional Action Plans. Part. 1: East and Northeast Africa, pp. 27-33. IUCN, Gland and Cambridge, Switzerland.

Wilhelmi, F.K. 1997. Ground Survey on Wildlife in the Ogaden Region in Eastern Ethiopia. Zoological Society for the Conservation of Species and Populations, Munich, Germany.

Wilhelmi, F., Kaariye, X.Y., Hammer, S., Hammer, C. and Heckel, J.-O. 2006. On the status of wild ungulates in the Ogaden region of Ethiopia. Proceedings of the Sahara-Sahelo Interest Group Meeting 2006, Douz, Tunisia.. Douz, Tunisia.

Citation: IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group. 2016. Dorcatragus megalotis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T6793A50185898. . Downloaded on 01 July 2016.
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