Aepyceros melampus ssp. petersi 

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. petersi Bocage, 1879
Parent Species:
Common Name(s):
English Black-faced Impala
Taxonomic Notes: Black-faced Impala (Aepyceros melampus petersi) 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 Common Impala (A. m. melampus).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable C1 ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2016-07-26
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Hoffmann, M.
The population of Black-faced Impala is 3,000-4,000 mature individuals, well within the threshold for Vulnerable under criterion C1. Numbers overall have been increasing, especially when animals of game farms outside the natural range are taken into account. However, imports of Common Impala have continued to increase and are often close to, or in mixed herds with, Black-faced Impala on some properties. There are no longer strict controls on mixing the two forms and hybridization and introgression are known to be occurring. A 10% decline over 17 years (three generations) is projected, unless the indigenous form is protected by rigorous controls on imports of Common Impala and all known and suspected hybrids are eliminated.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Black-faced Impala is naturally confined to Kaokoland in north-west Namibia and neighbouring parts of south-western Angola. Kaokoland was set aside as a protected area in 1928, when it formed part of Etosha National Park (N.P.), but lost its protection status in 1970. To guard against its extinction, Black-faced Impala were translocated to south-western Etosha on the edge of the historic range (Green and Rothstein 1998). Today, this subspecies occurs between the Otjimborombonga area (ca. 12°45'E) and Swartbooisdrift on the Cunene R., southward to the Kaoko Otavi area in the south-western part of the Etosha N.P., and the Kamanjab District just south of the Park (Fritz and Bourgarel 2013). There is no information on the current status of this subspecies in Angola, but they may survive in Iona N.P. and in Bikuar and Mupa N.P. (East 1999, Crawford-Cabral and Veríssimo 2005).

For the distribution map, see the parent species assessment: Aepyceros melampus.
Countries occurrence:
Angola; Namibia
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:East's (1999) estimate of 2,200 for Black-faced Impala is slightly lower than that estimated by Green and Rothstein (1998), who estimated numbers in Etosha at around 1,500 individuals, with an additional 1,200 on private land, and the total population in Kaokoland at around 500. As of 2007, numbers in Etosha and private ranches are estimated at about 3,200 with a further 50-100 on conservancies (all stable and increasing); numbers in the north-west (the original native range) may number approximately 1,000 (J. Jackson in litt. to the IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group (ASG) 2007).
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:3000-4000Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:The Black-faced Impala is a water-dependent and typical ecotone species, associated with the interface between wooded savanna and open grassy vleis in semi-arid environments (Joubert 1971, Matson et al. 2005).
Generation Length (years):5.7

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Black-faced Impala are subject to hunting for trophies and meat, but to a lesser extent than Common Impala.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Poaching, livestock development and severe drought were the main factors contributing to the decline of Black-faced Impala (Green and Rothstein 1998, East 1999). The reintroduction of 180 individuals from Kaokoland to the west of Etosha National Park between 1968 and 1971 helped promote the conservation of Black-faced Impala, and a few were translocated from Etosha to private game farms in Namibia (Fritz and Bourgarel 2013). However, the introduction of Common Impala to ranches and conservancies neighbouring Etosha National Park may represent a threat to the Black-faced Impala through hybridization. Green and Rothstein (1998) earlier estimated that about one-quarter of all privately owned Black-faced Impala occur in mixed herds with Common Impala. In a recent study, Lorenzen and Siegismund (2004) analysed 127 Black-faced Impala individuals from five subpopulations in Etosha National Park to determine whether any hybridization had taken place within the park, but could not find any definite evidence. However, due to the lack of controls on movements of Common Impala and their presence with or close to Black-faced Impala herds, some degree of introgression is believed to be occurring.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The main surviving populations of the Black-faced Impala occur in Etosha National Park and private farms in Namibia. The numbers of the Black-faced Impala should continue to increase in protected areas and on private land, although it was at potential risk from hybridization with the Common Impala (East 1999) and this remains an issue of concern. The Namibian government has had a management plan to eliminate hybridization with Common Impala and strictly regulate harvests. The Namibian Professional Hunters Association has a Black-faced Impala committee and the NGO Conservation Force has a long-term involvement in all aspects of its conservation including funding of the management plan. Good management practices made the future of the taxon secure at the time (J. Jackson in litt to ASG 2007), but the rigour of these controls appears to have weakened. Black-faced Impala are genetically distinct and have been isolated from Common Impala for a significant length of time. They are thus an important evolutionary and conservation unit and ensuring the integrity of this subspecies is a high priority.

Citation: IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group. 2017. Aepyceros melampus ssp. petersi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T549A50180804. . Downloaded on 20 June 2018.
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