The Arabian gazelle (Gazella arabica) is a species of gazelle from the Arabian Peninsula. There are approximately 5,000 - 7,000 mature individuals in the wild.[2]

Arabian gazelle
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Bovidae
Subfamily: Antilopinae
Tribe: Antilopini
Genus: Gazella
G. arabica
Binomial name
Gazella arabica

Taxonomy edit

Until recently, it was only known from a single lectotype specimen mistakenly thought to have been collected on the Farasan Islands in the Red Sea in 1825. A 2013 genetic study of the lectotype specimen revealed that skull and skin do not stem from the same individual but belong to two distinct lineages of the mountain gazelle (Gazella gazella), necessitating restriction of the lectotype to the skin to conserve nomenclatural stability. A later study formalized the use of Gazella arabica for the Arabian lineage of the mountain gazelle, and synonymized Gazella erlangeri with G. arabica.[3][4]

Arabian Gazelles

Ecology and Behavior edit

Ecology edit

The Arabian gazelle lives in grassland, shrubland, and desert habitat types.[2] They predominantly feed on the leaves, flowers, and fruits of acacia trees (Genus Vachellia) and other trees and shrubs. Arabian gazelles are selective browsers, preferring woody plants over grasses.They predominantly feed on all fours, but may rear up on their hind legs to access higher food.[5] They share their habitat with many other herbivores, including Dorcas gazelles (Gazella dorcas), mountain gazelles (Gazella gazella), Nubian ibex (Capra nubiana), Asiatic wild ass (Equus hemionus), and Arabian oryx (Oryx leucoryx).[6] Their main predators are Arabian wolves (Canis lupus arabs).[7]

Arabian gazelles are crepuscular, most active in the early morning and evening when temperatures are cooler. In the heat of midday, they rest to chew their cud.[8]

They have been found with antibodies to the parasite toxoplasmosis (Toxoplasma gondii).[9] They contract gastrointestinal diseases including clostridiosis and salmonellosis, as well as chronic renal fibrosis.[10]

Reproduction edit

Offspring survival becomes more likely as birth weight increases, and birth weight is more reliant on heritability than on maternal effects.[11]

Conservation edit

The arabian gazelle is classified as Vulnerable by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The population is declining: estimated at 12,000 mature individuals in 2008, the species now numbers approximately 5,000 to 7,000 as of 2016.[2]

There are many environmental factors affecting the population density of Arabian gazelles, such as human hunting, predation, competition, and climate change. The decline in population is due to human disturbances such as construction, livestock competition, capture for the pet trade, and illegal hunting. Other factors include temperature change, and predation (mainly by wolves); as the researchers stated in their findings that, “Wolf encounter rate had a significant negative effect on G. arabica population size, while G. dorcas population size had a significant positive effect, suggesting that wolf predation shapes the population size of both gazelle species."[7]

Status and population by country edit

Iran edit

There is a small reintroduced population in Iran's Faror Island.[2]

Israel edit

A relict population of approximately 30 Arabian gazelles lives in Israel's Arava Valley. Known locally as "Acacia gazelles," they are protected in a fenced enclosure at the Yotvata Hai-Bar Nature Reserve. There is some evidence that they face browsing competition from the Dorcas gazelles that share their enclosure, which has prompted the relocation of many Dorcas gazelles.[12]

Oman edit

In the 1990s, Oman's population was approximately 13,000 individuals, the majority living in the Jiddat al-Harasis. However, the population has been in continuous decline since then due to poaching. They live in several nature reserves, including the Arabian Oryx Sanctuary, Wadi Sareen Tahr Reserve, Jebel Samhan Nature Reserve, and Al Saleel National Park.[2] In 2023 a small population was discovered on Masirah Island.[13]

Saudi Arabia edit

Saudi Arabia has approximately 1,500–1,700 individuals, of which 1,000 live on the Farasan Islands, which are protected as a nature reserve. The Farasan Island gazelles are surveyed by the National Commission for Wildlife Conservation and Development every 2–3 years. They are protected in other nature reserves, including the Ibex Reserve and Uruq Bani Ma’arid.[2]

United Arab Emirates edit

The United Arab Emirates contains several small and scattered populations.[2]

Yemen edit

Arabian gazelles are present in Yemen, but there is no recent population estimate due to ongoing conflict.[2]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group (2017). "Gazella arabica". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2017: e.T117582065A88018124. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-2.RLTS.T117582065A88018124.en. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group. 2017. Gazella arabica. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T117582065A88018124. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-2.RLTS.T117582065A88018124.en. Accessed on 12 March 2023.
  3. ^ Bärmann EV, Börner S, Erpenbeck D, Rössner GE, Hebel C, Wörheide G (2013). "The curious case of Gazella arabica". Mammalian Biology. 78 (3): 220–225. doi:10.1016/j.mambio.2012.07.003.
  4. ^ Bärmann, E. V., Wronski, T., Lerp, H., Azanza, B., Börner, S., Erpenbeck, D., Rössner, G. E. and Wörheide, G. (2013), A morphometric and genetic framework for the genus Gazella de Blainville, 1816 (Ruminantia: Bovidae) with special focus on Arabian and Levantine mountain gazelles. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 169: 673–696. doi: 10.1111/zoj.12066
  5. ^ Wronski, Torsten; Schulz-Kornas, Ellen (2015-03-01). "The Farasan gazelle—A frugivorous browser in an arid environment?". Mammalian Biology. 80 (2): 87–95. doi:10.1016/j.mambio.2014.12.002. ISSN 1618-1476.
  6. ^ Mendelssohn, H., & Yom-Tov, Y. (1999). Mammalia of Israel (Fauna Palestina) (pp. 271-280). The Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities.
  7. ^ a b Shalmon, Benny; Sun, Ping; Wronski, Torsten (2020-01-01). "Factors driving Arabian gazelles (Gazella arabica) in Israel to extinction: time series analysis of population size and juvenile survival in an unexploited population". Biodiversity and Conservation. 29 (1): 315–332. doi:10.1007/s10531-019-01884-8. ISSN 1572-9710.
  8. ^ Al-Hazmi, M. A.; Ghandour, A. M. (1992-09-01). "An ecological study of gazelles in the western and southern regions of Saudi Arabia". Journal of Arid Environments. 23 (3): 279–286. doi:10.1016/S0140-1963(18)30517-2. ISSN 0140-1963.
  9. ^ Mohammed, Osama B.; Hussein, Hussein S. (1994-10-01). "Antibody Prevalence of Toxoplasmosis in Arabian Gazelles and Oryx in Saudi Arabia". Journal of Wildlife Diseases. 30 (4): 560–562. doi:10.7589/0090-3558-30.4.560. Retrieved 2023-07-23.
  10. ^ Soares, Jorge F.; Pereira, Helena; Desta, Fekadu Shiferaw; Sandouka, Mohammed; Macasero, William (2015). "CAUSES OF MORTALITY OF CAPTIVE ARABIAN GAZELLES (GAZELLA ARABICA) AT KING KHALID WILDLIFE RESEARCH CENTRE, KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARABIA, FROM 1988 TO 2011". Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine. 46 (1): 1–8. ISSN 1042-7260.
  11. ^ Martin, R. A.; Riesch, R.; Plath, M.; Al Hanoosh, N. A.; Wronski, T. (2022-10-26). Jia, Zhi-Yun (ed.). "Reproductive biology of Gazella arabica: predictors of offspring weight and short- and long-term offspring survival". Current Zoology. doi:10.1093/cz/zoac084. ISSN 1674-5507. PMC 10591149.
  12. ^ Breslau, Benjamin; Polak, Tal; Shalmon, Benny; Groner, Elli (2020-02-01). "Evidence of browsing pressure on the critically endangered Acacia gazelle (Gazella acaciae)". Journal of Arid Environments. 173: 104019. doi:10.1016/j.jaridenv.2019.104019. ISSN 0140-1963.
  13. ^ Said, Taimur Al; Rawahi, Haitham Al; Ansari, Maha Al; Hinai, Al Mutasim Al; Amri, Ahmed Al; Wahaibi, Ahmed Al; Farsi, Ghasi Al; Wahibi, Saud Al; Farsi, Salman Al (2023-12-26). "First confirmed record of Arabian Gazelle Gazella arabica Lichtenstein, 1827 (Mammalia: Artiodactyla: Bovidae) on Masirah Island, off the coast of eastern Oman in the Arabian Sea". Journal of Threatened Taxa. 15 (12): 24443–24446. doi:10.11609/jott.8624.15.12.24443-24446. ISSN 0974-7907.

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