a1 King Khalid Wildlife Research Center, Thumamah, P.O. Box 61681, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and Zoological Society of London, Conservation Programmes, Regent’s Park, London, NW1 4RY, UK.
The mountain gazelle Gazella gazella in Saudi Arabia is categorized as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. On the mainland the species’ survival depends on a few remnant populations in the western Mountains and coastal plains and on two reintroduced populations. The largest natural population of G. gazella in Saudi Arabia is the Farasan gazelle subspecies G. g. farasani, which inhabits the Farasan Islands in the Red Sea. We review and collate the available literature on this subspecies, mainly unpublished reports presenting wildlife census data, and supplement this with the most recent, 2009, count. The number of free-ranging gazelles has remained approximately constant since the first counts in 1988, with an overall density of 0.64 km-2 and an estimated population of 1,039 on Farasan Kebir in 2009. The populations on two other islands, As Saqid and Zifaf, have not fared as well, possibly because of uncontrolled hunting pressure, competition with domestic stock or poor habitat conditions overall. The population on Qummah Island is extinct. Threats to this subspecies include uncontrolled hunting and uncoordinated development. Continued protection of this apparently stable population of mountain gazelle in Saudi Arabia is imperative to ensure the survival of the species.
(Received August 16 2009)
(Reviewed October 05 2009)
(Accepted November 06 2009)
(Online publication February 01 2011)
c1 King Khalid Wildlife Research Center, Thumamah, P.O. Box 61681, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and Zoological Society of London, Conservation Programmes, Regent’s Park, London, NW1 4RY, UK. E-mail email@example.com