On The Brink: Dama Gazelle

 

Dama-Gazelle-3-700x350.jpgThe Dama Gazelle (Nanger dama) is a critically endangered (CR) antelope living in Africa. They have been listed a CR since 2006 when they were upgraded from endangered due to having a population size below 250 mature individuals. There are currently 5 surviving subpopulations which are fragmented and are considered to contain less than 50 mature individuals.

Dama-Gazelle.jpgWhile the Dama Gazelle used to roam most of the Sahara and surrounding countries, it is now only native in Chad, Mali and Niger after going extinct in Mauritania, Senegal, Sudan, Tunisia and the Western Sahara.

maxresdefault.jpgThe main threats that caused the decline in numbers of the Dama Gazelle was the introduction of firearms which lead to the uncontrolled hunting of the Dama Gazelle. They also have harm from habitat loss and degradation cause by the overpopulation of domestic animals and pastureland.

The biggest problem they are facing to their conservation is whether to isolate populations to reduce chances of external diseases and intraspecies competition or to allow them to integrate and breed within the different populations. The largest issue with isolating populations is that inbreeding will reduce genetic diversity and their ability to adapt to new diseases and habitat change.

To learn more about the Dama Gazelle and their conservation head over to the IUCN Red List.

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