Soemmerring’s Gazelle, Nanger soemmerringii
Soemmerring’s gazelle, or Nanger soemmerringii, was formerly called Gazella soemmerringii. It can be found in Eastern Africa. There are three subspecies of this gazelle. One population of Soemmerring’s gazelle became isolated on Kebir Island in the Dahlak archipelago and developed into dwarf forms of their mainland equivalents.
Soemmerring’s gazelle can reach a height of up to three feet at the shoulder, and can weigh an average of seventy-seven to ninety-nine pounds. Typically, it is tan in color, with a white underbelly and elongated black horns. They are very similar in appearance to Grant’s gazelle and the two species are often confused for each other. These gazelle prefer to inhabit open steppes with plenty of the grasses, herbs, and acacia and bush leaves that make up their diet. Scientists believe that male Soemmerring’s gazelle may be temporarily territorial. Members of this species can live to be fourteen years old.
As is typical with most species of gazelle, Soemmerring’s gazelle was hunted profusely throughout history. A method of hunting created in prehistoric times, where hunters would corral large herds of gazelle in stone structures, was used until the 20th century, and Soemmerring’s gazelle was not excluded from this. Due to this overhunting for food and trophies, their population numbers dwindled, creating their current small range. Soemmerring’s gazelle now has a conservation status of “Vulnerable”.
Image Caption: Soemmerring’s Gazelle, St. Louis Zoo, 12/27/2005. Credit: Robert Lawton /Wikipedia(CC BY-SA 3.0)