Who is it?
A small ungulate, that is, a mammal with a hoof, the Dorcas gazelle’s range is the deserts of North Africa, the Sinai Peninsula, Palestine and Arabia. Despite its fragile and elegant appearance, it is an animal which resists very tough environmental conditions.
Its horns are ringed, in the shape of a lyre, and are found in both males and females. This gazelle is of a similar colour to the sand in its habitat: soft brown upper body and whiter in the abdomen.
What are its habits?
Some of these gazelles live in isolation, although most live in more or less numerous herds which occupy their own territory.
They feed basically on tough grass, succulent plants and acacia leaves. They also eat grasshoppers and insect larvae, to complete their diet.
They also eat grasshoppers and insect larvae, to complete their diet. In Africa, breeding takes place from August to October, when rutting males emit sounds and mount the female while running. The female separates from the group to give birth, after a gestation lasting six months, to one fawn (it may give birth to two, at times). Suckling lasts about two or three months.
The main enemies of this species are the lion, the cheetah, the leopard and the African wild dog. They flee rapidly from them, leaping spectacularly (in fact, it’s its best defence system).
Did you know…
They were traditionally pursued by the nomadic populations, who fed on their meat. However, it is large-scale hunting that that put it at the edge of extinction.