|Scientific Name:||Beatragus hunteri|
|Species Authority:||(P.L. Sclater, 1889)|
Damaliscus hunteri (P.L. Sclater, 1889)
|Taxonomic Notes:||Formerly included in the genus Damaliscus.|
|Red List Category & Criteria:||Critically Endangered A2cd ver 3.1|
|Assessor(s):||IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group|
|Reviewer(s):||Mallon, D.P. (Antelope Red List Authority) & Hoffmann, M. (Global Mammal Assessment)|
Given a conservative estimate of generation time at nine years, the 85 to 90% decline (and continuing) since 1980 has occurred over three generations and meets the threshold for Critically Endangered under criterion A2, and on the basis of direct observation, decline in area of occupancy and habitat quality and levels of exploitation.
|Range Description:||The Hirola is endemic to north-east Kenya and south-west Somalia. Historical distribution is estimated to have covered ca. 17,900 km² in Kenya and ca. 20,500 km² in Somalia (Bunderson 1981, East 1999, Butynski in press). In Kenya, Hirola currently occur between Garsen, Bura and Galma Galla/Kolbio over an area of ca. 8,000 km² (Butynski 1999). Current status in south-west Somalia is not known, but its former range has been badly affected by prolonged civil and military conflicts that continued up to early 2007.
There is a small translocated population in Tsavo East National Park, outside the species’ natural range. This originated from a translocation of 30 animals from Garissa District conducted in 1963. It is thought that most of these perished soon after release and that the size of the “effective founder population” was only 11 to 19 animals (Butynski 1999). A further 10 animals were translocated to Tsavo East in 1996 (Hofmann 1996).
|Range Map:||Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.|
In 1979, there were ca. 16,000 animals in Kenya on 17,900 km². Estimated numbers decreased from 12,500 in the early to mid-1970s to about 7,000 in 1977-83, followed by a drastic decline (85 to 90%) between 1983 and 1985 caused by the severe drought of 1984 (Butynski 1999). Ground surveys suggested a population of between 500 and 2,000 in Kenya in 1995/1996 (Andanje and Ottichilo 1999, Butynski 1999, Dahiye and Aman 2002). Somalia had ca. 2,000 Hirola in 1979, but has few, if any, today (Butynski 1999). Overall, numbers have fallen by 85 to 90% since 1980 and are still declining (East 1999, Butynski in press).
The translocated population in Tsavo East National Park numbers ca. 105 individuals, an increase from the 56 to 76 animals in 1995/1996 (Andanje and Ottichilo 1999, Butynski in press).
|Habitat and Ecology:||Hirola inhabit semi-arid thorn bush, open bush grassland, to light woodland, and lush savanna grassland. Their preferred habitat is seasonally flooded, open grassland with scattered small shrubs and trees on well-drained soils with short leafy swards of grass formed by fire, or by the combined grazing pressure of wildlife and domestic livestock (Bunderson 1981, Butynski in press).|
|Major Threat(s):||Hunting, disease, drought, habitat loss, and competition with livestock. Lack of effective protection leaves it vulnerable to poaching. The development of the cattle industry, compounded by rinderpest and drought are continuing threats. The Tsavo population additionally faces predation by relatively high densities of large carnivores and competition from a greater variety of other wild herbivore species (but much lower numbers of cattle) than in its natural range (East 1999, Butynski in press).|
|Conservation Actions:||This is one of the most highly threatened antelopes in Africa. Recommendations for the long-term conservation of the Hirola in Kenya have been included in a conservation action plan (Magin 1996) and a conservation evaluation report (Butynski 1999). These recommendations are now part of the current conservation and management plan for the Hirola in Kenya (Hirola Management Committee 2004) and are being acted upon by the Kenya Wildlife Service, in conjunction with the Hirola Management Committee and local conservation NGOs. There is an urgent need to improve the level of management and protection of the one natural population of Hirola, particularly in the Arawale National Reserve and in the Galma Galla/Kolbio region of Kenya. Community conservation and anti-poaching activities must be established over a large portion of the remaining range, but insecurity for conservation workers is an extremely serious problem in this region. Consideration should be given to establishing protected areas at Galma Galla and Lag Dere, and to expanding the Tana Primate National Reserve to the east to include at least 300 km² of prime habitat for Hirola (Butynski in press). There are only two Hirola in captivity.|
|Citation:||IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group 2008. Beatragus hunteri. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 23 November 2014.|
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