Goitered gazelle

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Goitered gazelle
Sand gazelle (gazella subgutturosa marica).jpg
Sand gazelle Gazella subgutturosa marica at Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, United Arab Emirates
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Bovidae
Subfamily: Antilopinae
Genus: Gazella
Species: G. subgutturosa
Binomial name
Gazella subgutturosa
(Güldenstädt, 1780)

The goitered or black-tailed (Gazella subgutturosa) is a gazelle found in northern Azerbaijan, eastern Georgia, part of Iran, parts of Iraq and southwestern Pakistan, southeastern Turkey, Afghanistan[2] and the Gobi Desert. The specific name, meaning "full below the throat", refers to the male having an enlargement of the neck and throat during the mating season.

The goitered gazelle inhabits sands and gravel plains and limestone plateau. It runs at high speed, without the leaping, bounding gait seen in other gazelle species. Throughout much of their range, goitered gazelles migrate seasonally. Herds cover 10–30 km per day in the winter, with these distances being reduced to about 1–3 km in summer.

Large herds were also present in the Near East. Some 6,000 years ago, they were captured and killed with the help of desert kites.[3][4] Rock art found in Jordan suggests ritual slaughter.[3]

Until recently, goitered gazelles were considered to represent a single, albeit polymorphic, species. However, recent genetic studies show one of the subspecies, G. s. marica, is paraphyletic in respect to the other populations of goitered gazelles,[5] although gene introgression is observed in the contact zone between the two species.[6]


Several subspecies have been described. Groves & Leslie (2011) distinguish four forms, which they treat as separate monotypic species.[7] Wacher et al. [5] suggest G. s. marica is a separate species, Gazella marica.

  • Persian gazelle (Gazella (subgutturosa) subgutturosa) - southeastern Turkey, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Syria, northern and eastern Iraq, Iran, southern Afghanistan, western Pakistan
  • Turkmen gazelle (Gazella (subgutturosa) gracilicornis) - Kazakhstan in the east to about Lake Balkash, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan
  • Yarkand gazelle (Gazella (subgutturosa) yarkandensis) - northern and northwestern China (Xinjiang, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Gansu, Nei Monggol), Mongolia; includes subspecies hilleriana
  • Sand gazelle (Gazella (subgutturosa) marica) - Saudi Arabia, southern Syria, southwestern Iraq, United Arab Emirates, Oman, offshore Persian Gulf islands

It is listed as an endangered species in Pakistan.[citation needed]



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