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Animal Info - Cuvier's Gazelle

(Other Names: 卡氏羚, Atlas Gazelle, Atlas Mountain Gazelle, Edmi, Edmi Gazelle, Gazelle de Cuvier, Gazelle de Montagne, Idmi, Ledm, Mountain Gazelle)

Gazella cuvieri (G. gazella cuvieri)

Status: Endangered


Contents

1. Profile (Picture)
2. Tidbits
3. Status and Trends (IUCN Status, Countries Where Currently Found, Population Estimates, History of Distribution, Threats and Reasons for Decline)
4. Data on Biology and Ecology (Weight, Habitat, Gestation Period, Birth Season, Birth Rate, Maximum Age, Diet, Behavior, Social Organization)
5. References


Profile

Pictures: Cuvier's Gazelle #1 (80 Kb JPEG); Cuvier's Gazelle #2 (85 Kb JPEG) 

Cuvier's gazelle weighs up to 35 kg (77 lb) and stands up to 70 cm (28") tall at the shoulder. It occurs in a wide variety of habitats in hilly terrain, including oak and pine forests, grasslands and stony desert plateaus. Cuvier's gazelle is both a browser and a grazer, eating herbs and shrubs in the summer, and in the winter, green grasses. It can utilize water from plants as well as dew, but it needs to visit waterholes frequently. Normally the gazelles spend the day in the hills, descending to the valleys to feed at night or in the early morning.  It lives in widely spaced territories, where males attend one or more females and their young, and generally occurs in groups of 3 - 5.

Earlier this century, Cuvier's gazelle was still quite widespread in the higher elevations of the mountainous regions of Morocco, including the Middle and High Atlas, extending beyond the latter almost to the Atlantic coast. It also occurred in Algeria and western Tunisia. In 1932 it was already rare. In 1972, only some small herds were left in various parts of the Atlas Mountains. It was thought probably to have been exterminated in Morocco, but this turned out not to be the case. Currently it survives in a series of small populations in highland areas of  Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia

Cuvier's gazelle declined due to hunting for skins, meat and as a trophy, especially after motorized hunting with modern firearms became feasible. Loss of habitat due to continuous expansion of pastureland for livestock and deforestation for agriculture or charcoal appears to be the main threat now


Tidbits

*** In 1932 it was already considered one of the rarest gazelles.

*** The Cuvier's gazelle is the only surviving gazelle endemic to the area north of the Sahara Desert.

*** "There is a growing awareness in Tunisia of the need to conserve the country's rich natural resources, and active steps are being taken to protect the numerous vegetation types and wildlife habitats together with the mammals and birds which occur in them." (Willan 1973)

*** The Cuvier's gazelle is mobile and could recolonize areas where it has been eradicated.

*** In Algeria, people, even tribesmen living far away from towns and police stations, are very well aware that gazelle hunting is banned, and this makes poaching more difficult and increases the chances for survival of small, isolated populations (de Smet 1991).


Status and Trends

IUCN Status:

Countries Where Cuvier's Gazelle Is Currently Found:

2003: Occurs in Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia. (IUCN 2004)

Population Estimates:

[Note: Figures given are for wild populations only.]

History of Distribution:

Earlier this century, Cuvier's gazelle was still quite widespread in the higher elevations of the mountainous regions of Morocco, including the Middle and High Atlas, extending beyond the latter almost to the Atlantic coast. It also occurred in Algeria and western Tunisia. In 1932 it was already rare. In 1972, only some small herds were left in various parts of the Atlas Mountains. It was thought probably to have been exterminated in Morocco, but this turned out not to be the case. By 1987 it was extremely rare in the few isolated and scattered populations that survived in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia

Currently it survives in a series of small populations in highland areas of  Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia. Most of its areas of occurrence in Algeria and Tunisia are formally protected, but in Morocco it is mainly distributed outside protected areas. (Mallon & Kingswood 2001)  

Distribution Map (16 Kb GIF) (African Mammals Databank 2004)

Threats and Reasons for Decline:

Cuvier's gazelle declined due to hunting for skins, meat and as a trophy, especially after motorized hunting with modern firearms became feasible. Loss of habitat due to continuous expansion of pastureland for livestock and deforestation for agriculture or charcoal appears to be the main threat now (AZA Antelope TAG)


Data on Biology and Ecology

Weight:

Female: 15 - 20 kg (33 - 44 lb); Male: 20 - 35 kg (44 - 77 lb).  Shoulder height: up to 68 cm (27").

Habitat:

Cuvier's gazelle is endemic to the hills and plateaus of the Atlas Mountains.  It occurs in a wide variety of habitats in hilly terrain, including open oak forests; Aleppo pine forests; open country with a mixture of wheat fields, vineyards and hill-top grasslands; and stony desert plateaus. It is found in areas with rainfall ranging from 600 mm/year (24"/year) to desert on the northern fringes of the Sahara.

Cuvier's gazelle is one of the species that live in the Mediterranean Basin Biodiversity Hotspot (Cons. Intl.).

Gestation Period:

170 - 175 days (Mallon & Kingswood 2001).  

Birth Season:

Mating occurs in early winter, with births occurring in the spring (April - May).

Birth Rate:

There is usually a single offspring, but twins are frequent (Nowak 1999). Middle-aged females can produce two litters in one year when forage and water are available (Mallon & Kingswood 2001)

Maximum Age:

14 years 10 months (captivity).

Diet:

Cuvier's gazelle is both a browser and a grazer, eating herbs and shrubs in the summer, and in the winter, green grasses. It can utilize water from plants as well as dew, but it needs to visit waterholes frequently. (AZA Antelope TAG)  In Tunisia, It feeds mainly on grasses, acorns, and young leaves of legumes, and it takes water from springs (Mallon & Kingswood 2001) .

Behavior:

Normally the gazelles spend the day in the hills, descending to the valleys to feed at night or in the early morning..

Social Organization:

The Cuvier's gazelle lives in widely spaced territories where a single male attends one or more females and their young. It generally occurs in groups of 3 - 5, rarely more than 8. (AZA Antelope TAG)


References

African Mammals Databank 2004, AZA Antelope TAG, Beudels-Jamar et al. 1998, Burton & Pearson 1987, Cons. Intl., Curry-Lindahl 1972, de Smet 1991, IUCN 1969, IUCN 1994, IUCN 1996, IUCN 2000, IUCN 2003a, IUCN 2004, Kingdon 1997, Mallon & Kingswood 2001, Nowak 1999, Nowak & Paradiso 1983, Spinage 1986, Stuart & Stuart 1996, Willan 1973


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Last modified: February 13, 2007;

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