Mountain gazelle

Gazella gazella

الغزال الجبلي

The mountain gazelle belongs to the bovidae family of the Artiodactyla order. A large herbivore, with a brown-yellow color and a white bottom and a separating black stripe between the back and the bottom. Both the male and the female have horns- the male's are longer and thicker than the female. The tail is dark on a white background, a visual communication signal for predators to prove the individual is fit and capable of escaping in need. The legs are thin and are used for running and hopping. It is found mostly in open habitats, where it has the advantage of seeing to a distance and running away from predators, but in places of higher human presence it can be found also in forests, mostly coniferous and with lower tree density. It feeds mostly from grass and tree leaves but can also eat fruit. The male marks its territory by urinating and dropping in "scat stations" that can get up to a meter in diameter, this is a reliable sign for a presence of a mountain gazelle. The mountain gazelle is active in different hours during the day and night and it is not rare to see it in daylight, a nice vision to every animal lover. Extensive presence of wild dogs is a major threat to the mountain gazelle populations around the country, together with unchained pet dogs. The local sub-species (Gazella gazella gazella) is endemic to the country and its population has been in constant decrease in the past few decades. The world population of the species is limited to disconnected patches around the Arab peninsula and the eastern coast of the Mediterranean.

Conservation status- vulnerable. 

Sites: Beitillu, Umm at-Tut, Wadi Al-Quff nature reserves