Dama gazelles live in small herds of 5-10 individuals, occasionally forming larger groups during seasonal movements or when drawn to areas of fresh grazing. Gestation period around 6.5 months with one young born. Calving appears synchronised with improved grazing following rainy season (July-September). Feeds on a wide variety of browse, including Acacia, Maerua and Balanites. Grasses such as Panicum and Aristida also eaten, as well as legumes and wild melons. Water independent.
Sahelian and peri-Saharan grasslands and Acacia woodland. Remaining isolated populations pushed into rather marginal, atypical sub-desert and rocky refuges. Once commonplace on the fixed dune systems of the Sahel, often in association with scimitar-horned oryx and dorcas gazelle. Forays into sub-desert terrain during wet and cold seasons.
Formerly a broad band of sub-desert habitat stretching from the Nile Valley in the east to northern Senegal, Mauritania and southern Morocco in the west. Distribution north of the Sahara poorly known. Occupation of central Sahara made possible in and around mountainous areas with better vegetation. Currently restricted to small isolated groups in marginal habitats in eastern Mali (Tamesna), central and eastern Niger (Aïr, Termit), and western Chad (Eguey).
Critically endangered with possibly fewer than 300 left in the wild in small highly isolated groups. Like most Saharan ungulates, victim to combination of over-hunting, drought and habitat loss. Appendix I on both CITES and CMS conventions.
IUCN Red Data List (2010): Critically Endangered.
Scholte, P. In press. 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.
Dragesco-Joffé, A. 1993. La vie sauvage au Sahara. Delachaux et Niestlé, Lausanne.
In Tanoust. 1930. La Chasse dans le Pays Saharien et Sahélien. Editions du Comité Algérie-Tunisie-Maroc, Paris. Cano, M. 1984. Revision der Systematik von Gazella (Nanger) dama. Z.koln.Zoo 27: 103-107.
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008 (http://www.iucnredlist.org/)
Ultimate Ungulate (http://www.ultimateungulate.com)