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Cuvier's gazelle

The Cuvier’s gazelle (Gazella cuvieri) is a beautiful species of gazelle native to the mountains of Northern Africa. Nowadays, it is at risk of extinction due to habitat destruction and intensive hunting. It is one of the smallest species in this genus and is named in honor of the French naturalist Georges Cuvier.

Scientific name:

Gazella cuvieri

Species:

Gazella cuvieri

Family:

Bovidae

Order:

Artiodactyla

Class:

Mammals

Diet

Herbivore: It eats leaves and grasses

Pregnancy

Approximately 5,5 months

Number of puppies

1 to 2, with a high frequency of twins

Lifespan

Up to 20 years in captivity

Weight

Between 48 and 77 pounds

Size

Up to 27 inches long, plus horns that are around 6 inches long

Characteristics of the Cuvier’s gazelle

The Cuvier’s gazelle, also called the edmi, is no taller than 28 inches, not counting its horns, which are another 4 to 6 inches tall. This species is sexually dimorphic; males are stronger than females and weigh between 66 and 77 pounds whereas females weigh between 48 and 62 pounds.

Its fur is light brown and it can be distinguished from other species of gazelle thanks to two black stripes on its face. They are very fast animals that can run at speeds of up to 43 miles per hour to escape from danger.

What is this gazelle’s habitat?

Nowadays, the Cuvier’s gazelle is only found in dispersed, fragmented areas of Northern Africa, specifically in the mountainous areas of the Atlas Mountains and neighboring ranges in Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia.

Its habitat includes Mediterranean-like, semiarid, open forests; scrubland; and rocky areas. It is also possible to find them in the Sahara Desert. Some of the parks where protected populations of Cuvier’s gazelle are found include the Chambi National Park in Tunisia or the Belezma National Park in Algeria.

Behavior of the Cuvier’s gazelle

Like all gazelles, it is an herbivore and ruminant that mainly eats leaves and grasses. In addition, it is a territorial animal that marks its territory with feces.

It tends to live in family groups of between five and ten individuals in which there is a dominant adult male. In mating season, he drives out young males, which then form their own groups. 

Females reach sexual maturity at between 9 and 13 months. Interestingly, twins are very common.

Conservation of the Cuvier’s gazelle

Currently, Cuvier’s gazelle is a threatened species with an estimated population of between 2,360 and 4,560 individuals. Its population is expected to decline in upcoming years, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). 

The Cuvier’s gazelle was a relatively abundant animal until the first third of the 20th century. However, habitat destruction and excessive hunting for its skin and meat over decades led to a notable decline in its population. Despite the fact that hunting this species is now prohibited, it continues to suffer the consequences of habitat destruction and disappearance.

Recently, a large-scale reintroduction of the edmi in the Jebel Serj National Park in Tunisia recently took place thanks to the work of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC, for its initials in Spanish).

Degree of threat


Location


You can find me in this area inside the park.

Download the map

Habitat


Desert and semiarid, open Mediterranean forests.