Soemmerring's gazelle

Soemmerring's gazelle
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Clade: Synapsida
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Bovidae
Subfamily: Antilopinae
Tribe: Antilopini
Genus: Nanger
Species: N. soemmerringii
Binomial name
Nanger soemmerringii
(Cretzschmar, 1828)

Gazella soemmerringii (Cretzschmar, 1826)

Soemmerring's gazelle (Nanger soemmerringii, formerly Gazella soemmerringii) is a gazelle found in the Horn of Africa (Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Somalia). It is no longer present in Sudan.[1]


Traditionally, three subspecies are recognized:[2]

The dwarf population on Dahlak Kebir island might also qualify as a subspecies.[2]


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). The diet of the gazelle consists of acacia and bush leaves, grasses, and herbs. They inhabit open steppes with brush and acacia, as well as steppes with few trees, and 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. At some point in history, a Soemmerring's gazelle population became isolated on Dahlak Kebir island in the Dahlak Archipelag, where the gazelle actually developed a dwarf form of the larger mainland races.[2]

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.[1] Soemmerring's and Grant's gazelles' outward appearance are so similar, they are often mistaken for each other where their ranges overlap.


  1. 1 2 3 Heckel, J.-O.; Wilhelmi, F.; Kaariye, X.Y.; Rayaleh, H.A.; Amir, O.G. & Künzel, T. (2008). "Nanger soemmerringii". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 28 February 2014.
  2. 1 2 3 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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