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Addax
Addax nasomaculatus
  • French: addax
  • German: mendesantilope, addax
  • Arabic: ‘agas, bagar al wach
  • Toubou: trowi tchongi, tourba
  • Tamashek: immellal

Description
Relatively short-legged, stocky antelope (95-105 kg) with long corkscrew horns. Strong facial markings and distinctive mop of dark brown hair. Coat colour changes from bright white in summer, hot season months to darker grey in winter.
Biology

Highly adapted desert-dweller. Pale coloration and large hooves are adaptations to hot sandy habitat. Nomadic species, exploiting ephemeral annual pastures and more permanent perennial grazing. Movement out of the desert during periods of drought or during hot season in search of shade and grazing.

Forms small mixed herds of up to a dozen individuals, although larger groupings do occur in areas of favourable grazing or during seasonal movements to new pasture.

Habitat

Inhabits sandy desert with dune fields and firmer sand sheets. Strong seasonal association with areas of perennial desert pastures composed of tussock grasses (Stipagrostis spp.) and succulent thorn scrub (Cornulaca).

Distribution

Distribution currently restricted to a narrow band of desert between eastern Niger and western Chad. Possible vagrants from Niger to southern Algeria. Situation unknown in former strongholds in Mauritania.

Threats

Once widespread across North Africa, the addax has been largely extirpated by over-hunting since the mid-1800s. Although highly adapted to hyper-arid conditions, addax are nonetheless impacted by long periods of severe drought.

Status

Critically Endangered with probably less than 300 in the wild. Last major population of around 200 in the Tin Toumma desert of eastern Niger. Appendix I species on both CITES and Migratory Species conventions.

Priorities
  1. Secure remaining wild populations in Niger and Chad
  2. Boost scientific management of captive populations in Africa and elsewhere
  3. Reintroduction to suitable secure protected areas in former range states
References
  • Newby, J. E. in press. Addax nasomaculatus (de Blainville). In: The Mammals of Africa. Vol. 6. Artiodactyla. Kingdon, J. S. & Hoffmann, M. (eds). Academic Press, Amsterdam.
  • UNEP/CMS. 2006. Sahelo-Saharan Antelopes. Status and perspectives. Report on the conservation status of the six Sahelo-Saharan antelopes. Eds. R.C. Beudels, P. Devillers, R-M. Lafontaine, J. Devillers-Terschuren & M-O. Beudels. CMS SSA Concerted Action. 2nd Ed. CMS Technical Series Publication No 10, 2006. UNEP/CMS Secretariat, Bonn, Germany. Pp. 33-50.
  • Wacher, T. J., Rabeil, T. & Newby, J. E. 2008. Aerial survey of the Termit & Tin Toumma Regions of Niger – November 2007. Sahelo-Saharan Antelope Project (Niger). Sahara Conservation Fund, ii + 25 pp.
  • IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008 (http://www.iucnredlist.org/)

Addax female and calf, Tunisia
Addax calf, Tunisia
Addax, Tin Toumma (Niger)
Addax tracks, Tin Toumma (Niger)

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Sahara Conservation Fund
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