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Addra Gazelle

Scientific Classification

Common Name
addra gazelle, red-necked gazelle
Genus Species
Gazella (wild goat) dama (deer) ruficollis

Fast Facts

Both sexes usually have medium length ringed horns curved like an "S"; males' horns are about 14 inches long; females horns are much shorter; heads are small with narrow muzzles; eyes are relatively large; glands near the eyes are well developed; longer necks and legs than most gazelles; white spot under chin; neck and most of back and flank are reddish or copper-brown
Height at shoulder: 90 to 120 cm (3 to 4 ft.)
40 to 85 kg (90 to 190 lbs.)
Browser, grasses, leaves, shoots, fruit, especially Acacia leaves
6 to 6.5 months; one offspring
Sexual Maturity
Male: 18 to 24 months
Female: 9 to 12 months
Life Span
Up to 12 years
Sahara from Mauritania to Sudan
Open steppes, bushy, grassy steppes, semi-desert, deserts
Global: 2,500 individuals
IUCN: Critically Engangered
CITES:  Appendix I
USFWS: Endangered
AZA: SSP Participant

Fun Facts

  1. Addra are considered the largest type of gazelle, with incredibly long legs, which provide extra surface area on their body to dissipate heat, one of the many ways they stay cool in their hot desert environment.
  2. After just a few days following birth, addra young are strong enough to follow the herd, and after a week, they are able to run as fast as the adults.
  3. Addras tend to need more water than some of their desert relatives, although they can withstand fairly long periods of drought.
  4. In earlier times, addras could be seen in herds of as many as 500. The average herd size is now 15 to 20 animals. This drastic reduction is due largely to poaching.
  5. Males establish territories, and during breeding season they actively exclude other mature males. They mark their territories with urine and dung piles and secretions from glands near their eyes.
  6. Always on the alert, addra use a behavior called "pronking" to warn herd members of danger. "Pronking" involves the animal hopping up and down with all four of their legs stiff, so that their limbs all leave and touch the ground at the same time.
  7. Unlike many other desert mammals, addra are a diurnal (active during the day) species.
  8. The shade of red covering its body varies with this species across its range, growing darker from east to west. This is one of the main differences among the three subspecies.

Ecology and Conservation

A valuable source of food for humans throughout their harsh range, addra have been hunted extensively for their meat. Addra have also been hunted because they are seen as competition with livestock for the limited food and water in their region. Although they are well adapted to harsh environments, addra still heavily depend on tree cover for protection. As agricultural expansion spreads throughout its range, loss of such protection is of major concern for this species. As browsers these gazelles help keep vegetation from becoming overgrown. They also serve as a food source for carnivores such as cheetahs, African wild dogs, lions, leopards, hyenas, etc. This is an endangered species that has become very rare and is disappearing fast due to poaching.

In a cooperative effort with other AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums) institutions, Busch Gardens closely manages addra 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.


Estes, Richard D. The Behavior Guide to African Mammals: Including Hoofed Mammals, Carnivores, Primates. Berkeley: University of California Press. 1991.

Estes, Richard D. The Safari Companion. Vermont: Chelsea Green Publishing Company. 1993.

Nowak, Ronald M. Walker's Mammals of the World Fifth Ed.. Vol. II. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. 1991.

Parker, Sybil P. ed. Grzimeks Encyclopedia: Mammals. Vol. 5. New York: McGraw-Hill Publishing Co. 1990.

University of Michigan.