Alcelaphus buselaphus ssp. cokii 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Cetartiodactyla Bovidae

Scientific Name: Alcelaphus buselaphus ssp. cokii Günther, 1884
Parent Species:
Common Name(s):
English Coke's Hartebeest, Kongoni
Taxonomic Notes: According to East (1999) the correct subspecies name is cokei and not cokii as used by Wilson and Reeder (1993). Meester and Setzer (1972) indicate that cokii is correct. Coke's Hartebeest or Kongoni (A. b. cokii) is one of eight subspecies of Hartebeest, following Gosling and Capellini (2013). The others being: Bubal Hartebeest (A. b. buselaphus); Western Hartebeest or Kanki (A. b. major); Lelwel Hartebeest (A. b. lelwel); Tora Hartebeest (A. b. tora); Swayne's Hartebeest or Korkay (A. b. swaynei); Lichtenstein's Hartebeest (A. b. lichtensteinii); and Red Hartebeest (A. b. caama). Intergrade populations occur between lelwel and cokii.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2016-07-26
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Cooke, R.
Listed as Least Concern as the subspecies still survives in good numbers (population size estimated at 42,000), nearly three-quarters of which occur in protected areas. If present trends continue, numbers of Coke's will probably continue to decline until they eventually stabilize at a lower level.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Coke’s Hartebeest occurred widely throughout southern Kenya and northern Tanzania. They have lost much of their range, but populations still occur in the Serengeti and Tarangire in Tanzania and Tsavo, and the Mara in Kenya (East 1999, Gosling and Capellini 2013).

For the distribution map, see the parent species assessment: Alcelaphus buselaphus.
Countries occurrence:
Kenya; Tanzania, United Republic of
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):4000
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:East (1999) estimated numbers of Coke’s Hartebeest at around 42,000 individuals; this subspecies is suspected to be declining in places and stable in others. Densities of Coke's Hartebeest averaged 2.6/km2 in the Athi/Kapiti plains in Kenya before the severe 1961 drought and 0.8/km2 after it (Stewart and Zaphiro 1963). According to Foley et al. (2014) there are an estimated 18,000 in Tanzania, with 16,000 in the Serengeti ecosystem and 1,000 Mkomazi NP; the population in the Tarangire ecosystem declined from 4,000 in the early 1990s to 1,100 in 2011.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:30000
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:More tolerant of woodland areas and high grass than other alcelaphines, Hartebeest (including Coke's Hartebeest) prefer the edge to the middle of open plains (Estes 1991, Gosling and Capellini 2013) and thus appear to be an edge or ecotone species (Booth 1985), generally avoiding more closed woodland. In open areas, such as the grassland of the Serengeti N.P. in Tanzania, Coke's Hartebeest are typically found around the edge of woodland and may be outcompeted in the more open areas by specialized short-grass feeders such as Common Wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus) (Gosling and Capellini 2013). Coke's Hartebeest have been recorded to 4,000 m on Mt Kenya (Young and Evans 1993).
Generation Length (years):7.5

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Hartebeest (including Coke's Hartebeest) are hunted for food and sport and are particularly valued for their high-quality meat (Gosling and Capellini 2013).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The main threats to Hartebeest in general, and including Coke's Hartebeest, are agro-pastoral development and hunting. Droughts can also play an important role for Coke's Hartebeest (Stewart and Zaphiro 1963).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Around 70% of the global population of Coke's Hartebeest is located in protected areas (East 1999). Areas holding important populations of Coke’s Hartebeest include: Tsavo, Masai Mara, Kajiado and coastal hinterland (Kenya) and Serengeti, Tarangire and Sadani (Tanzania).

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.9. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane
suitability:Suitable season:resident 
2. Savanna -> 2.1. Savanna - Dry
suitability:Suitable season:resident 
3. Shrubland -> 3.5. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
suitability:Suitable season:resident 
4. Grassland -> 4.5. Grassland - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
suitability:Suitable season:resident 
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
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):61-70
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
1. Residential & commercial development -> 1.1. Housing & urban areas
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Minority (<50%) ♦ severity:Slow, Significant Declines ⇒ Impact score:Low Impact: 5 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

11. Climate change & severe weather -> 11.2. Droughts
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Majority (50-90%) ♦ severity:Causing/Could cause fluctuations ⇒ Impact score:Medium Impact: 6 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.1. Shifting agriculture
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Minority (<50%) ♦ severity:Slow, Significant Declines ⇒ Impact score:Low Impact: 5 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.3. Livestock farming & ranching -> 2.3.4. Scale Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Majority (50-90%) ♦ severity:Slow, Significant Declines ⇒ Impact score:Medium Impact: 6 
→ 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:Slow, Significant Declines ⇒ Impact score:Medium Impact: 6 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends
3. Monitoring -> 3.2. Harvest level trends

Bibliography [top]

Booth, V. R. 1985. Some Notes on Lichtenstein Hartebeest, Alcelaphus lichtensteini (Peters). South African Journal of Zoology 20: 57-60.

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

Estes, R.D. 1991. The Behavior Guide to African Mammals: including Hoofed Mammals, Carnivores and Primates. University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles, California, USA.

Foley, C., Foley, L., Lobora, A., De Luca, D., Msuha, M., Davenport, T.R.B. and Durant, S. 2014. A Field Guide to the Larger Mammals of Tanzania. Princeton University Press, Princeton, USA.

Gosling, L.M. and Capellini, I. 2013. Alcelaphus buselaphus Hartebeest. In: J. S. Kingdon and M. Hoffmann (eds), The Mammals of Africa, pp. 511-526. Bloomsbury Publishing, London, UK.

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

Meester, J. and Setzer, H.W. (eds). 1972. The Mammals of Africa: An Identification Manual. Smithsonian Institute Press, Washington, D.C., USA.

Stewart, D. R. M. and Zaphiro, D. R. P. 1963. Biomass and density of wild herbivores in different east African habitats. Mammalia 27: 483-496.

Wilson, D.E. and Reeder, D.M. (eds). 1993. Mammal Species of the World: a taxonomic and geographic reference. Second edition. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington and London.

Young, T.P. and Evans, M.R. 1993. Alpine vertebrates of Mount Kenya, with particular notes on the rock hyrax. Journal of the East Africa Natural History Society and National Museum 82(202): 55-79.

Citation: IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group. 2017. Alcelaphus buselaphus ssp. cokii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T815A50181521. . Downloaded on 16 August 2018.
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