Tragelaphus derbianus ssp. gigas 

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. gigas (Heuglin, 1863)
Parent Species:
Common Name(s):
English Eastern Giant Eland
Taxonomic Notes: Grubb (2005) treats this as Taurotragus derbianus gigas.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable C1 ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2016-08-12
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Cooke, R.
The global population is estimated at 12,000-14,000 at most, hence <10,000 mature individuals. There is a continuing decline due to snaring, poaching for bushmeat, encroachment into protected areas (PAs) and expansion of agriculture and livestock grazing. The rate of decline is predicted to exceed 10% over three generations (24 years). Effective protection in PAs and well-managed sustainable trophy hunting programmes play a key role in the conservation of this species and any weakening of these efforts will accelerate the rate of decline.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Eastern Giant Elands (T. d. gigas) were formerly distributed from north-eastern Nigeria to north-west Uganda. They now survive mainly in north-east Central African Republic (CAR). A separate population lives in northern Cameroon, with herds crossing the Chad border to the east; occasional vagrants may enter Nigerian territory. They still occur in South Sudan, where they were recently recorded in Southern National Park (Fay et al. 2007), from which they may visit north-eastern DR Congo and north-west Uganda (East 1999, Planton and Michaux 2013).

For the distribution map, see the parent species assessment: Tragelaphus derbianus.
Countries occurrence:
Cameroon; Central African Republic; Chad; South Sudan
Possibly extinct:
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:East (1999) estimated that there were probably more than 15,000 Eastern Giant Eland remaining, with over 12,500 in the CAR. Numbers increased in CAR, Cameroon and Chad in the 1990s. The numbers that survive in South Sudan are unknown (165 estimated in Southern N.P., South Sudan in 2007; Fay et al. 2007). This suggests a total population of the Eastern Giant Eland at the time of around 15,000-20,000. However, political instability and civil conflict in South Sudan and CAR in the last 10-15 years have greatly disrupted protection and management in PAs and halted trophy hunting operations in many parts of CAR. At the same time, hunting for bushmeat and encroachment into PAs by agriculturalists and livestock herders have increased. Numbers in northern Cameroon may be stable or declining more slowly, but overall the global population is now estimated to be no more than 12,000-14,000 (<10,000 mature individuals) and declining.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:8400-9800Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Giant Eland, including Eastern Giant Eland, inhabit woodlands and forested Sudanian to Guinean savannas, never far from hilly/rocky landscapes nor from water (Planton and Michaux 2013). Kingdon (1997) considered that it is quite strictly confined to lsoberlinia doka woodland, but recent studies indicate that its range includes areas of Terminalia-Combretum-Afzelia woodland where there is no Isoberlinia, e.g., in parts of Cameroon’s North Province such as Boumedje Hunting Concession (Bro-Jorgensen 1997). Giant Elands feed mostly on leaves, shoots, herbs and fruits (but occasionally on grasses), and will drink daily where water is available (Planton and Michaux 2013).
Generation Length (years):8.0

Use and Trade [top]

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

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The Eastern Giant Eland still has extensive areas of available habitat which are almost uninhabited and are not subjected to development pressures, particularly in northern and eastern CAR and South Sudan. However, political instability and armed conflict are major barriers to the implementation of effective protection and management over large parts of the eastern subspecies’ remaining range. If these problems are not overcome, the Eastern Giant Eland’s numbers will gradually decline until its survival is eventually threatened and it becomes restricted to a few protected areas. In the past, Eastern Giant Eland have suffered heavy mortality from rinderpest, for example, populations in the CAR crashed by 60-80% during and after the 1983-1984 rinderpest outbreak, but later recovered (East 1999).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Occurs in several National Parks in CAR and Cameroon and adjoining hunting zones and in Southern N.P., South Sudan.

Citation: IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group. 2017. Tragelaphus derbianus ssp. gigas. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T22059A50197308. . Downloaded on 22 September 2018.
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