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Speke's gazelle

Gazella spekei Blyth, 1863
French: La Gazelle de Speke
German: Spekegazelle

Endemic subspecies
There are no endemic subspecies.

Description
Total length: 95 - 105 cm
Tail length: 15 - 20 cm
Shoulder height: 50 - 60 cm
Weight: 15 - 25 kg
Gestation: ~ 7 months

A rather small gazelle with an inflatable nasal region just behind the nostrils. It is fawn with a crisp black flank stripe (and paler band above it), white buttocks with dark margins, a pale face and undulating horns with broad annulations, which are present in both sexes. Horns are slenderer and less curved in females.

Distribution
The Indian Ocean littoral of Somalia in stony semi-desert dominated by stunted succulents, aloes, shrubs and sparse desert grasses. The centre of its range is the Nogaal Valley. Highlands of Somalia (900 - 1800 m). It may still occur in Somali Region of Ethiopia (Ogaden).

Ecology
They live in small groups, occasionally numbering up to 20 and gather an alarm call (probably as much an advertisement of status), that is made by inflating and emptying the nasal sac. Muscular spasms also dispense scent from preorbital glands. They feed on grasses, herbs and browse on shrubs.

Conservation Status
Intense competition from livestock may have reduced numbers in some areas.

IUCN Red List Category, ver 3.1:

- http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/details/8975/0

Trend:
Decreasing, but there is no current data available for many regions. There is no recent informations on the status of Speke's gazelle in the central coastal region in Somalia, but surveys in the mid-late 1990s have found that it was locally common on the northern plateau and in the eastern and central Nugal Valley. It is still not sure whether Speke’s gazelle is extinct in Ethiopia or not. There is no recent confirmation of the occurrence of the Speke‟s gazelle in Djibouti. Therefore, if it ever existed, it is likely that this gazelle is now extinct in this country.


European Collection Plan (2003): ...
RCP status: monitor at TAG level

Recommendations
Speke's gazelle persists in apparently healthy populations in some parts of Somalia, despite the country's recent history of civil war and intercal hostilities. Nevertheless, this gazelle probably faces continued, gradual atrition of its distribution and numbers if the current absence of protective measures continues throughout its range. Its conservation status is therefore likely to decline further unless effective protection and management of representative populations and their habitat can be developed and implemented.

Literature
Dorst J & Dandelot P (1970): Larger Mammals of Africa, Collins Field Guide, London.
East R (1999): African Antelope Databese 1998. IUCN/SSC Antelope Specialist Group. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.
Haltenorth T & Diller H (1977): Saeugetiere Afrikas und Madagaskars, BLV Verlagsgesellschaft, Muenchen.
Heckel J-O & Rayaleh HA (2008): Status of wild ungulates in Djibouti. Report in Woodfine T & Wacher T: Ninth Annual Sahelo-Saharan Interest Group meeting, 19-24. 
Kingdon J (1997): The Kingdon Field Guide To African Mammals, Academic Press, San Diego.
Thurow T (1996): Ecology and Behaviour of Speke's Gazelle Gazella spekei Blyth. Gnusletter, 1: 13-19.
Thurow T et al. (1995): Somalia - Resource Use by Large Herbivores ont he Coastal Plain of Central Somalia. Gnusletter, 14(1): 11-17.
Wilhelmi F (1998): Ground survey on wildlife in the Ogaden Region. Gnusletter, 1: 13-14.
Wilhelmi F, Kaariye XY, Hammer S, Hammer C & Heckel J-O (2006): ON THE STATUS OF WILD UNGULATES IN THE OGADEN REGION OF ETHIOPIA. Proceedings of the seventh annual SSIG meeting, 43-62.
Wilson DE & Reeder DM (2005): Mammal species of the world. A taxonomic and geographic reference. Third Ed., Vol. 1 The John Hopkins University Press, Balitmore.

 

Links

- http://www.ultimateungulate.com/Artiodactyla/Gazella_spekei.html
- http://www.arkive.org/spekes-gazelle/gazella-spekei/
- http://awwp.alwabra.com/index.php/content/view/661/34/
- http://www.stlzoo.org/animals/abouttheanimals/mammals/hoofedmammals/spekesgazelle.htm- http://www.gisbau.uniroma1.it/amd/amd170b.html

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