Aepyceros melampus ssp. melampus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Cetartiodactyla Bovidae

Scientific Name: Aepyceros melampus ssp. melampus (Lichtenstein, 1812)
Parent Species:
Common Name(s):
English Common Impala
Taxonomic Notes: Common Impala (A. m. melampus) is one of two subspecies of Impala (Aepyceros melampus), supported by molecular data (Nersting and Arctander 2001; Lorenzen et al. 2006). The other being the Black-faced Impala (A. m. petersi).

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): Hoffmann, M.
Listed as Least Concern as although Common Impala (sensu stricto) have been eliminated from some parts of their range (such as Burundi), they are still widespread, common and abundant in numerous protected areas across their range. Its future is secure as long as it continues to occur in large, adequately protected and managed populations in protected areas and private farms and conservancies. Population trends of the Common Impala are generally stable in protected areas, stable or increasing on private land and stable or decreasing elsewhere.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The Common Impala formerly occurred widely in southern and East Africa: from central and southern Kenya and north-east Uganda to northern KwaZulu-Natal. Their current distribution range remains largely unchanged from their historical range, although it has been eliminated from parts by hunting for meat and the spread of settlement; for example, they now only occur in south-west Uganda, and have been extirpated from Burundi (East 1999, Fritz and Bourgarel 2013). They have been introduced to numerous privately owned game ranches and small reserves throughout southern Africa.

For the distribution map see parent species assessment: Aepyceros melampus.
Countries occurrence:
Angola; Botswana; Kenya; Malawi; Mozambique; Namibia; Rwanda; South Africa; Swaziland; Tanzania, United Republic of; Uganda; Zambia; Zimbabwe
Regionally extinct:
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):1700
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Population estimates are available for most of the Common Impala’s current range. East (1999) summed these estimates to produce a estimate of 1,584,000, however this does not allow for undercounting in aerial surveys or those areas for which population estimates are unavailable. Correcting for undercounting biases, East (1999) estimated the total numbers of Common Impala at ca 2 million.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:The Common Impala is a water-dependent and typical ecotone species, associated with light woodlands and savannas, selecting open Acacia savannas with nutrient-rich soils providing good-quality grass, and high-quality browse in the dry season (Fritz and Bourgarel 2013). Common Impala are absent from montane ecosystems, recorded to about 1,700 m on the slopes of Mt Kilimanjaro (Grimshaw et al. 1995).
Generation Length (years):5.7

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Common Impala are subject to consumptive use including trophy hunting, local use and harvesting for export. Common Impala are the most common antelope taken on hunting safaris in South Africa and are the second most numerous species harvested for use as biltong (after Springbok Antidorcas marsupialis; Van der Merwe and Saayman 2005). Owing to its high rate of reproduction and great adaptability, the Common Impala has also become of prime interest for meat production (e.g, Fairall 1983,Bothma 1989), not only on wildlife ranches but also in remote communal areas (e.g., Feron et al. 1998; Averbeck 2001, 2002; Bourgarel et al. 2001). In 2004, Impala meat constituted the eighth highest weight of commercially produced game meat that was exported from South Africa (Patterson and Khosa 2005).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The main threat to Common Impala seems to be active hunting at the edge of, and within, protected areas (with strong influence on densities as well as population structure) combined with agro-pastoral development (Setsaasa et al. 2007, Averbeck et al. 2009).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The Common Impala is one of the most abundant antelopes in Africa, with about one-quarter of the population occurring in protected areas. The largest numbers occurring in areas such as the Mara and Kajiado (Kenya), Serengeti, Ruaha and Selous (Tanzania), Luangwa Valley (Zambia), Okavango (Botswana), Hwange, Sebungwe and the Zambezi Valley (Zimbabwe), Kruger (South Africa) and on private farms and conservancies (South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia) (East 1999). Its future is secure as long as it continues to occur in large, adequately protected and managed populations in protected areas and private farms and conservancies.

Citation: IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group. 2017. Aepyceros melampus ssp. melampus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T136944A50198224. . Downloaded on 18 August 2018.
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