|Soemmerring's gazelle at Yangudi Rassa National Park, Ethiopia|
Gazella soemmerringii (Cretzschmar, 1826)
The Soemmerring's gazelle (Nanger soemmerringii, formerly Gazella soemmerringii), also known as Abyssinian mohr, is a gazelle species native to the Horn of Africa (Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia and South Sudan). The species was described and given its binomen by German physician Philipp Jakob Cretzschmar in 1828. Three subspecies are recognized. It is no longer present in Sudan.
Taxonomy and evolution
The scientific name of Soemmerring's gazelle is Nanger soemmerringii. Formerly considered member of genus Gazella within the subgenus Nanger before Nanger was elevated to genus status, Soemmerring's gazelle is one of members of the genus Nanger and is classified under the family Bovidae. The species was described and given its binomial name by Swedish zoologist Philipp Jakob Cretzschmar in the In Rüppell, Atlas zu der reise im nördlichen Afrika ("Atlas of Rüppell's Travels in Northern Africa"; 1826–28) in 1828. Soemmerring's gazelle is named after German physicist Samuel Thomas von Sömmerring.
- Sudan Soemmerring's gazelle (N. s. soemmeringii) (Cretzschmar, 1828)
- Borani Soemmerring's gazelle (N. s. butteri) (Thomas, 1904)
- Somali Soemmerring's gazelle (N. s. berberana) (Matschie, 1893)
Soemmerring's gazelle is a tall gazelle with tan flanks, gradually turning to white on the belly, and long black horns. They are about 75–90 cm (2.5–3.0 ft) at the shoulder, and they weigh 35–45 kg (77-99 lb).
Distribution and habitat
Soemmerring's gazelles is native to the Horn of Africa. It lives in Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia and South Sudan. However, it is extinct in Sudan. They inhabit open steppes with brush and acacia, as well as steppes with few trees. At some point in history, a Soemmerring's gazelle population became isolated on Dahlak Kebir island in the Dahlak Archipelago, where the gazelle actually developed a dwarf form of the larger mainland races.
Ecology and behavior
The diet of the gazelle consists of acacia and bush leaves, grasses, and herbs.
Scientists suggest the males are temporarily territorial. The lifespan for this animal is up to 14 years.
In many parts of North Africa and the Middle East, large stone corrals were constructed to drive herds of gazelle into, making for an easy ambush. This method of hunting started in prehistoric time, and continued into the early part of the 20th century.
Most species of gazelles have been hunted for food over the course of history. Soemmerring's gazelles are very understudied due to their small numbers. In parts of their former range they are extinct due to hunting and habitat destruction.
- Wozencraft, W.C. (2005). "Order Carnivora". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M (eds.). Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 532–628. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
- Heckel, J.-O.; Wilhelmi, F.; Kaariye, X.Y.; Kunzel, T.; Amir, O.G. & Künzel, T. (2016). "Nanger soemmerringii". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016.3. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 31 December 2016.
- Peter Arctander; et al. (1996). "Extreme genetic differences among populations of Gazella granti, Grant's gazelle, in Kenya" (PDF). Heredity. 76 (5). Retrieved 31 December 2016.
- Chiozzi, G.; Bardelli, G.; Ricci, M.; De Marchi, G.; Cardini, A. (2014). "Just another island dwarf? Phenotypic distinctiveness in the poorly known Soemmerring's Gazelle, Nanger soemmerringii (Cetartiodactyla: Bovidae), of Dahlak Kebir Island". Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 111 (3): 603–620. doi:10.1111/bij.12239.
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