Dama Gazelles is the largest of all gazelles and is also the rarest in the world. This magnificent African herbivore is extremely endangered due to hunting and degradation of its habitat due to overgrazing by domestic animals.
- Length 1,40 - 1,65m
- Weight 40 - 70Kg
- Longevity 19 years
- Diet Shrubs, herbs and leaves
- Habitat Grassland and sparsely wooded savanna
- Reproduction 1 cup
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Dama Gazelles are the largest and tallest of all gazelles. They have long legs and a long neck. They are brown and white in color and have a characteristic white spot in the middle of the neck. The pups, when they are born, have a uniform damask color during the first month of life. Horns are found in both sexes, usually larger and thicker in males.
Dama Gazelles are social animals that live in harems made up of about 21 individuals, namely a single dominant adult male and many females. They are seasonal migratory animals and travel to the north of the Sahara during the rainy season (at this time they can gather in groups of hundreds) and retreat to the Sahel during the dry season.
Males are territorial during the breeding season, marking their territory with defecation, urine and olfactory glands. Males use their horns to carry out threats and to demonstrate their strength.
Dama Gazelles was an abundant species, however, the number of individuals has declined dramatically since the 1950s and 1960s. The population continues to decline, and currently the number of individuals in nature is only 100 to 200. For this reason is considered one of the rarest antelopes in the world.
The main threats of this species are overhunting, loss and degradation of their habitat due to pressure from domestic livestock and increased temperatures (desert conditions) that hinder their survival. Three of the six existing wild populations occur in protected areas: Ouadi Rimé-Ouadi Achim (Chad), Aïr-Ténéré N.R. and TermitTin Toumma N.R (Niger). However the first two suffer from military conflicts, which affects the conservation of these animals.