Slender-horned Gazelle Conservation Strategy 2020-2029
The slender-horned gazelle (Gazella leptoceros) is endemic to the Sahara Desert. It formerly occurred in sandy areas from Algeria west to the Nile Valley in Egypt. Numbers have been reduced mainly due to excessive, uncontrolled hunting and the species has disappeared from several areas, including most of those in the eastern part of the range. Currently the only certainty is that slender-horned gazelles are present in the two great ergs of Algeria and Tunisia, although a few individuals could persist in the Western Desert of Egypt and Libya, and no other localities have been confirmed. Numbers in the wild are estimated to be in the low hundreds. The ex situ population is very small and is descended from a tiny number of founders. The species is listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List.
Since 2016, the slender-horned gazelle situation has been discussed annually at a special session in the margins of the annual meetings of the Sahelo-Saharan Interest Group (SSIG), involving the main stakeholders. The aim of the sessions was to update the species’ status and agree priority actions. In view of the precarious situation, it was agreed in May 2019 SSIG meeting in Tunis to develop a ‘Slender-horned gazelle conservation strategy’ to provide a framework to guide actions needed to conserve and restore populations, both in situ and ex situ, as well as to aid the development of National Action Plans. The roadmap was discussed further with government agencies and NGOs during the IUCN North Africa Regional Conservation Forum in Monastir, Tunisia, in June 2019.
We are grateful to the all those who participated in the planning sessions on slender-horned gazelle at the SSIG meetings as well as to those who contributed to the development of the strategy.
IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group