Arabian Gazelle

Adult Male - (G. Simkins)
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Scientific Name Gazella gazelle cora Arabic Name Al idhmi, Al gazal al jabali Tagged As Mammal, Antelope, Gazelle Endangered Status
 

Description

Of all Gazella species, the mountain gazelle is the most slender. The coat is fawn to dark-brown on the back, neck and head, while the belly and buttocks are pure white, separated on the flanks by a dark narrow band. The coat is short, sleek and glossy in summer, reflecting much of the sun's radiation. In winter the pelage is much longer, dense and rainproof and not glossy. Seasonal variations in the pelage are much less in desert subspecies.

The face has two conspicuous white stripes extending from the eyes towards the nostrils with dark-brown to black lower margins, coupled usually with a black spot on the muzzle above the nose. The male's horns are quite long (22–29.4 cm), while those of females are generally shorter (5.8-11.5 cm).

Desert subspecies are only 12-16 kg, longer-legged and with a relatively longer body and ears than mountainous subspecies. Arabian Gazelle can reach speeds of 65 km per hour if in danger. Their diet comprises grasses, herbs and shrubs, depending on the habitat.

Range and Habitat

At present mountain gazelles remain along the Red Sea coast and in the Asir Mountains in Saudi Arabia, on the Farasan Islands in the Red Sea off the southwest coast of Saudi Arabia, along the coast and mountains of Yemen and Oman and in the United Arab Emirates.

Mountain gazelles live in low altitude mountains, sometimes in very steep (up to 45°) terrain, but avoid rocky areas and walking on rocks. They prefer plateaus, hilly relief, foothills and valleys between mountains and open habitats or areas with light forest in gravel or sandy plains, but also occur in regions of real desert and coastal dunes.

In Arabia, they usually live on rough terrain of mountain beds, gorges, and rolling hills.

Breeding

A single fawn is born after a gestation period of around 180 days. Gazelles living in deserts can breed throughout the year, but there are two birth peaks: in spring (March - May) and in autumn (October). The life-span is 13 years in captivity and not more than 8 years in the wild.

Tracks and Signs

Rams mark their territory by urinating and defecating on middens.