Gazella cuvieri 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Cetartiodactyla Bovidae

Scientific Name: Gazella cuvieri (Ogilby, 1841)
Common Name(s):
English Cuvier's Gazelle, Edmi
French Gazelle de Cuvier
Spanish Gacela de Cuvier
Taxonomic Notes: Genetic analyses have shown that G. cuvieri is the westernmost representative of closely related, twin-producing gazelles also including G. leptoceros, G.[subgutturosa] marica and G. bennettii (Hammond et al. 2001, Beudels et al. 2013).
In a more recent analysis of North African antelopes, Silva et al. (2015) found that G. cuvieri and G. leptoceros appear to form a monophyletic group, as previously suggested by Rebholz and Harley (1999). Hassanin et al. (2012) found that pairwise distances between the three taxa were very low (<1.5%) and suggested that G. leptoceros and G. marica should be regarded as subspecies of G. cuvieri.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable C2a(i) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-04-27
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Hoffmann, M.
Contributor(s): Mallon, D. & Cuzin, F.
Listed as Vulnerable as revised population estimates (2,360-4,560) indicate a larger population than estimated at the time of the last assessment. The species is threatened by overhunting and habitat degradation, mainly due to the transformation of forests into cropland and pastures for livestock. Although numbers are still low overall, and the number of mature individuals may still be <2,500, at least two subpopulations contain well above 250 mature individuals.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Endemic to mountains and hills of the Atlas and neighbouring ranges of north-west Africa. Overhunting and habitat degradation have greatly reduced the former range and led to fragmented populations. Beudels-Jamar et al. (2005) mapped 48 sites occupied by the species in 2005.

In Morocco, populations are highly fragmented, but recent reports indicate relatively substantial populations in the western Anti-Atlas, and in the Aydar region of the north-western Sahara (Beudels-Jamar et al. 2005, Herrera-Sanchez et al. in press, F. Cuzin pers. comm. 2015).

In Algeria, the distribution is limited to the northern part of the country: it is no longer found either north of the Tell Atlas or to the south of the Saharan Atlas (De Smet and Smith 2001). The species has only recently disappeared from a few localities, mainly in the north. The populations of the western Tell Atlas, Batna-Biskra, and the Aurès mountains are no longer contiguous, and some groups of the Saharan Atlas were recently extirpated. The most recent information indicates that some of these populations are growing. The most eastern populations are found in the Aurès, the Némentcha mountains, and the hills near the Tunisian border (Beudels-Jamar et al. 2005).

In Tunisia, numbers and distribution declined steeply due to overhunting by the 1970s, but the population then began to increase as a consequence of efficient conservation measures implemented in and around Chambi National Park (Kacem et al. 1994). However, military operations since 2013 have severely affected Chambi NP, the stronghold of the species in Tunisia.
Countries occurrence:
Algeria; Morocco; Tunisia; Western Sahara
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):3300
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Beudels et al. (2013) estimated the total population at 1,750 to 2,950 (Morocco: 900 to 2,000; Algeria: 560; Tunisia: <500). The figure for Morocco includes a recently rediscovered population in the lower Drâa (Cuzin 1996, 2003, Aulagnier et al. 2001, Cuzin et al. 2007). The value for Algeria was taken from De Smet (1991) and that for Tunisia from Kacem et al. (1994) and Smith et al. (2001).

Revised figures reported at the Cuvier's Gazelle conservation strategy workshop in Agadir, October 2015, suggest a population of 2,360-4,560: Morocco - 1,600-3,800, including 935 (597-1,607) in the Aydar and possibly 1,000-2,200 in the western Anti-Atlas; Algeria - 560 (based on De Smet 1991); Tunisia <100. Updated population estimates from Algeria are urgently needed.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:2360-4560Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:No
All individuals in one subpopulation:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Inhabits open semi-arid Mediterranean forests with Pinus halpensis and Juniperus phoenicea, Quercus ilex and Q. suber; maquis, and grassy steppes. In the north-west Sahara of Morocco and Algeria the species also occurs in arid mountains and desert hamada (Beudels et al. 2013).

Recorded up to 3,300 m (F. Cuzin pers. obs. in Beudels et al. 2013) but avoid areas with heavy snow. In the Tiaret region of Algeria, Cuvier's Gazelles may graze in cereal fields (Bounaceur et al. 2015).
Generation Length (years):4.1

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Cuvier's Gazelle are hunted for skins, meat and as a trophy, especially since motorized hunting with modern firearms has become feasible. Although increasing legal protection and better protection in reserves has reduced hunting pressure they are still probably the target of a low level general demand for gazelle meat, which is periodically accelerated in association with special occasions.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The major threats to the species are overhunting and habitat degradation, mainly due to the transformation of forests into cropland and pastures for livestock, and for charcoal (Cuzin 2003, Beudels-Jamar et al. 2005). Predation by dogs, on young gazelles at least, is also a threat, and dogs foiled an attempt to reintroduce Cuvier’s Gazelle into Souss-Massa N.P. in Morocco (Loggers et al. 1992). Military operations by the Tunisian army have resulted in bombardment and fires in Djebel Chambi N.P.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Important protected areas across the range include Saharan Atlas N.P., Belezma N.P. and Mergueb N.R. (Algeria), and Djebel Chambi N.P. (Tunisia). Mallon and Kingswood (2001) highlighted Djebel Chambi as of outstanding importance as it holds the largest population in Tunisia and is of key importance for the recolonisation of the Dorsale range, but this population is believed to have been greatly reduced or dispersed. 

A captive population, originating from animals in Morocco, is maintained in Almeria, Spain (Abáigar and Cano 2005).

The species is listed on CITES Appendix III (Tunisia) and CMS Appendix I, and included in the CMS Sahelo-Saharan Antelopes Action Plan. Legally protected in all range states. A project to reintroduce the species to sites in Tunisia is currently planned.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.4. Forest - Temperate
suitability:Marginal season:resident 
3. Shrubland -> 3.8. Shrubland - Mediterranean-type Shrubby Vegetation
suitability:Suitable season:resident major importance:Yes
0. Root -> 6. Rocky areas (eg. inland cliffs, mountain peaks)
suitability:Marginal season:resident 
8. Desert -> 8.1. Desert - Hot
suitability:Marginal 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: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
In-Place Species Management
  Harvest management plan:No
  Successfully reintroduced or introduced beningly:Yes
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:Yes
In-Place Education
  Included in international legislation:Yes
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:Yes
2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.2. Small-holder farming
♦ 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

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.3. Livestock farming & ranching -> 2.3.1. Nomadic grazing
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.3. Livestock farming & ranching -> 2.3.2. Small-holder grazing, ranching or farming
♦ 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:Minority (<50%) ♦ severity:Slow, Significant Declines ⇒ Impact score:Low Impact: 5 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

6. Human intrusions & disturbance -> 6.2. War, civil unrest & military exercises
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.2. Species disturbance

1. Research -> 1.1. Taxonomy
1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
3. Monitoring -> 3.2. Harvest level trends

Bibliography [top]

Abáigar, T. and Cano, M. 2005. Conservación y manejo de la Gacela de Cuvier (Gazella cuvieri Ogilby, 1841) en cautividad. Registro Internacional. Instituto de Estudios Almerienses. Colección Medio Ambiente No. 1. Almería.

Aulagnier, S., Cuzin, F., Thevenot, M. and Loggers, C. 2001. Morocco. In: D. P. Mallon and S. C. Kingswood (eds), Antelopes. Part 4: North Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Global Survey and Regional Action Plans, pp. 13-21. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.

Beudels-Jamar, R.C., Lafontaine, R-M. and Devillers, P. 2005. Gazella cuvieri. In: Beudels, R.C., P. Devillers, R.-M. Lafontaine, J. Devillers-Terschuren and M.-O. Beudels (eds). Sahelo-Saharan Antelopes. Status and Perspectives. Report on the conservation status of the six Sahelo-Saharan Antelopes. CMS SSA Concerted Action. 2nd edition. CMS Technical Series Publication No. 11., pp. 83-92. UNEP/CMS Secretariat., Bonn, Germany.

Beudels, R.C., Devillers, P. and Cuzin, F. 2013. Gazella cuvieri Cuvier's Gazelle. In: J. Kingdon and M. Hoffmann (eds), The Mammals of Africa. VI. Pigs, Hippopotamuses, Chevrotain, Giraffes, Deer, and Bovids, pp. 349-352. Bloomsbury Publishing, London, UK.

Bounaceur, F., Boualem, A., Fellous, A., Sellai, M., Douba, F., Benboucha, N., Cherif, K., Arab Said, D., De Smet, K. 2015. Latest news of Cuvier's gzelle (Gazella cuvieri) in northern Algeria. Gnusletter 32(2): 11-13.

Cuzin, F. 1996. Répartition actuelle et statut des grands mammifères sauvages du Maroc (Primates, Carnivores, Artiodactyles). Mammalia 60:101-124.

Cuzin, F. 2003. Les grands mammifères du Maroc méridional (Haut Atlas, Anti Atlas et Sahara): Distribution, Ecologie et Conservation. Ph.D. Thesis, Laboratoire de Biogéographie et Ecologie des Vertèbrés, Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Université Montpellier II.

Cuzin, F., Sehhar, E.A. and Wacher, T. 2007. Etude pour l'élaboration de lignes directrices et d'un plan d'action stratégique pour la conservation des ongulés au Maroc. Haut Commissariat aux Eaux et Forêts et à la Lutte Contre le Désertification (HEFLCD), Projet de Gestion des Aires Protégées (PGAP) et Banque Mondiale, Global Environment Facility (GEF). Two volumes.

De Smet, K. 1991. Cuvier’s Gazelle in Algeria. Oryx 25: 99-104.

De Smet, K, and Smith, T.R. 2001. Algeria. In: D.P. Mallon and S.C. Kingswood (compilers). Antelopes. Part 4: North Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Global Survey and Regional Action Plans, pp. 22-29. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

Hammond, R.L., Macasero, W., Flores, B., Mohammed, O.B., Wacher, T. and Bruford, M.W. 2001. Phylogenetic reanalysis of the Saudi gazelle and its implications for conservation. Conservation Biology 15(4): 1123-1133.

Hassanin, A., Delsuc, F., Ropiquet, A., Hammer, C., Jansen van Vuuren, B., Matthee, C., Ruiz-Garcia, M., Catzeflis, F., Areskoug, V., Nguyen, T.T. and Couloux, A. 2012. Pattern and timing of diversification of Cetartiodactyla (Mammalia, Laurasiatheria), as reveled by a comprehensive analysis of mitochindrial genomes . Comptes Rendus Biologies 335: 32-50.

Herrera-Sanchez, J., et al. in press. Evaluating methods for surveying the endangered Cuvier's gazelle (Gazella cuvieri) in arid landscapes. Oryx In press.

IUCN. 2016. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016-2. Available at: (Accessed: 04 September 2016).

Kacem, S.B.H., Müller, H.-P. and Wiesner, H. 1994. Gestion de la faune sauvage et des parcs nationaux en Tunisie. Réintroduction, gestion et aménagement. Eschborn, GTZ.

Loggers, C., Thévenot, M. and Aulagnier, S. 1992. Status and distribution of Moroccan wild ungulates. Biological Conservation 59: 9-18.

Mallon, D. P. and Kingswood, S. C. 2001. Chapter 41. Regional Action Plan for Antelope Conservation. In: D. P. Mallon and S. C. Kingswood (eds), Antelopes. Part 4: North Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Global Survey and Regional Action Plans, pp. 231-243. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.

Rebholz, W. E. R. and Harley, E. H. 1997. Cytochrome b Sequences from the Endangered Saudi Gazelle (Gazella saudiya) Suggest Hybridization with Chinkara (G. bennetti). Conservation Biology 11(1): 251-255.

Silva, T.L., Godinho, R., Castro, D., Abaigar, T., Brito, J.C., Alves, P.C. 2015. Genetic identification of endangered North African ungulates using noninvasive sampling. Molecular Ecology Resources 15: 652-661.

Smith, T. R., Mallon, D. P. and De Smet, K. 2001. Tunisia. In: D. P. Mallon and S. C. Kingswood (eds), Antelopes: Global Survey and Regional Action Plans. Part 4: North Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, pp. 30-40. IUCN/SSC Antelope Specialist Group, Gland and Cambridge.

Citation: IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group. 2016. Gazella cuvieri. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T8967A50186003. . Downloaded on 24 October 2017.
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