Mhorr's Gazelle

Mhorr's Gazelle

Mammalia

SCIENTIFIC CLASSIFICATION

COMMON NAME: Mhorr's gazelle, western dama gazelle
KINGDOM: Animalia
PHYLUM: Chordata
CLASS: Mammalia
ORDER: Artiodactyla
FAMILY: Bovidae
GENUS SPECIES: Gazella (wild goat) dama (like a deer) mhorr (scientific explorer)

FAST FACTS

DESCRIPTION: The Mhorr's gazelle is a medium-sized gazelle with a mostly white body, a top blanket of dark rust color, and short black horns
SIZE: Approximately 0.9-1.2 m (3-4 ft.) at the shoulder
WEIGHT: 39.6-74.25 kg (88-165 lb.)
DIET: Includes acacia and bush leaves, grasses, and herbs
GESTATION: Gestation lasts approximately 6.5 months; typically one offspring at a time
NURSING DURATION Young nurse for 4 to 9 months
SEXUAL MATURITY:
MALE 18-24 months
FEMALE 9-12 months
LIFE SPAN: Averages 12 years
RANGE: Eastern Sahara
HABITAT: Inhabits open steppes, grassy steppes, semi deserts, deserts
POPULATION: GLOBAL Extinct in the wild
STATUS: IUCN Endangered
CITES Appendix I
USFWS Endangered

FUN FACTS

1. Mhorr's gazelle is also referred to as the western dama gazelle. Dama gazelles are known for having extremely long legs, which raises their body off the hot desert sand to keep them cool. In addition, their long legs provide extra surface area on their body to radiate heat.
2. They are the tallest of all gazelles, due to lean bodies with long neck and legs. They are also the darkest subspecies of the dama gazelle tribe.
3. They are known to rear up on hind legs to reach tall browse.
4. When migrating during times of drought, many Mhorr's die due to lack of food, not water. Like many mammals living in arid regions, adapting to long periods without drinking water is necessary. Most of these animals are successful at exacting water from food.

ECOLOGY AND CONSERVATION

By eating the grasses, Mhorr's get all the water they need during the rainy season, but migrate to find drinking water during dry periods.

Mhorr's gazelles are an important food source for many predators.

As with most mammals found in North Africa they are on the brink of extinction due to over-hunting and habitat destruction.

In a cooperative effort with other AZA (American Association of Zoos and Aquariums) institutions, Busch Gardens closely manages Mhorr's gazelle populations through a program called the Species Survival Plan (SSP), which works to improve the genetic diversity of managed animal populations. Busch Gardens currently has 30 SSP animals.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Estes, R.D. The Safari Companion: A Guide to Watching African Mammals. Vermont: Chelsea Green Publishing Co., 1993.

Gotch, A.F. Mammals-Their Latin Names Explained. Poole, U.K.: Blandford Press Btd., 1979.

Nowak, Ronald (ed.). Walkers Mammals of the World. Vol. II, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991.

Parker, S.P. (ed.). Grizmek's Encyclopedia of Mammals. Vol 5. New York: McGraw Hill Pub. Co., 1990.

Spinage, C.A. The Natural History of Antelopes. New York: Facts on File Pub., 1986.

Stuart, C. and T. Field Guide to the Mammals of Southern Africa. Florida: Ralph Curtis Books Pub. 1988.