|Mountain gazelle (male)|
The mountain gazelle (Gazella gazella) is a species of gazelle widely but unevenly distributed in Israel, Turkey and across the Arabian Peninsula. It inhabits mountains, foothills, and coastal plains. Its range coincides closely with that of the acacia trees that grow in these areas. It is mainly a grazing species, though this varies with food availability. It is less well adapted to hot, dry conditions than the Dorcas gazelle, which appears to have replaced the mountain gazelle through some of its range during the late Holocene in a period of climatic warming.
In 1985, a large population of mountain gazelles built up through game conservation in two Israeli reserves, in the southern Golan Heights and Ramat Yissachar, was decimated by foot and mouth disease. To prevent such occurrences, a plan was drawn up to stabilize the female population at 1,000 in the Golan and 700 in Ramat Yissachar.
Less than 15,000 mountain gazelles are left within their natural range, more than 10,000 of these being of Arabian mountain gazelle subspecies, G. g. cora, less than 3,000 of Israeli mountain gazelles, G. g. gazella, less than 1,000 of G. g. farasani, less than 250 of G. g. muscatensis, and 19 of subspecies G. g. acaiae. Mountain gazelles can reach running speeds up to 80 km/h (50 mph).
The Israeli mountain gazelle - G. g. gazella - resides largely in three areas: the Golan Heights, Ramot Naftali and the Galilee. In the coastal plain, there is a small population of gazelles but the numbers are decreasing in the wake of accelerated urbanization. The population decreased greatly throughout its natural range in the first part of the 20th century due to poaching. but increased thereafter thanks to conservation efforts.
The Arava gazelle - G. g. acaiae - is in critical danger, with only 19 (counting made in 2007 of 17 plus two newborns) gazelles in a closed nature reserve near Yotvata, Israel.
The Merrill gazelle - G. g. merrilli - lives in the mountains near Jerusalem.
- Grubb, P. (2005). "Gazella gazella". In Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M. Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 637–722. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
- IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group (2008). "Gazella gazella". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 22 August 2011.
- Mountain gazelle management in northern Israel in relation to wildlife disease control
- Lee, K. "Gazella gazella". Animal Diversity Web. Retrieved 22 August 2011.
- Kaplan, D. (December 2002). "Langfristige Bestandsschwankungen der Edmigazelle (Gazella gazella gazella) in Nordisrael". Zeitschrift für Jagdwissenschaft (Springer Berlin / Heidelberg) 48 (Supplement 1): 167–171. doi:10.1007/BF02192405.
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