Addax

Addax nasomaculatus TAXONOMY

Cerophorus nasomaculatus (Blainville, 1816), probably Senegam-bia. Monotypic.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

French: Addax; German: Mendesantilope; Spanish: Addax.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Body length 3.6-4.3 ft (110-130 cm); shoulder height 3.1-3.8 ft (95-115 cm); tail 10-14 in (25-35 cm); 132-275 lb (60-125 kg). Horns 2-3.6 ft (60-109 cm) in male, 1.8-2.6 ft (55-80 cm) in female.

DISTRIBUTION

Historically ranged over entire Sahara Desert; now restricted to isolated populations in south Algeria, Mauritania, Mali, Niger, and Chad. Probably extinct in western Sudan.

HABITAT

Desert and semidesert, with sand dunes, hard-packed terrain, and scant vegetation.

BEHAVIOR

Formerly probably lived in family groups of 5-20 individuals led by dominant male, with social hierarchy based probably on age; now found only in groups of 2-4. Nomadic, following rains.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Eats desert grasses, succulents, herbs, and tender young shoots of shrubs and trees. Obtains all water from food.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Gestation period 257-264 days (8.5 months). Young born primarily in winter and spring; weaning at 3.5 months; females sexually mature at 1.5 years, males at three years. Lifespan up to 20 years in managed environments.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Critically Endangered; CITES I. Fewer than 250 remain in the wild. Competition with goats, disturbance from people, prolonged droughts, wars, and harassment by tourists in vehicles are all problems. Over 1,000 are registered in zoological collections worldwide, and in the United States, 2,000 are owned by private individuals. Reintroductions were initiated in Tunisia in 1985-1988 and in Morocco in 1994-1997.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

Addax have been hunted extensively for their horns, meat and skin. ♦

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