Mountain gazelles are dark brown in color with a white belly and light brown limbs. The face is marked with a light stripe with black lower margins. Their short tail is black and bushy. These gazelles are one of the few mammals in which both sexes have horns. Males have significantly larger and wider horns with rings around them. Males are also larger than females.
Mountain gazelles are found in Israel, the Palestinian Territories from the Golan Heights, through Central Israel, in parts of Jordan and Turkey. In Jordan, they occur in the Jordan Valley, especially near the Jordan and Yarmouk rivers. These gazelles are well adapted for living in dry, desert-like conditions. They spend most of their time at the top of mountains and hills and graze in light forests, fields, or desert plateaus.
Mountain gazelles are diurnal creatures; they are active during the day and sleep at night. They are social and very territorial. These gazelles usually live in herds of three to eight individuals. Each herd consists of three main groups: maternity herds, bachelor male herds, or territorial solitary males. During the day Mountain gazelles prefer to bed on the tops of the hills or mountains to avoid the heat and around dawn and dusk, they will spend their time foraging.
Mountain gazelles have a polygynandrous (promiscuous) mating system. This means that both males and females have multiple partners during each breeding season. Mountain gazelles breed in October-November, however, in areas where food is available breeding can occur year-round. Females give birth to one calf per year mostly between the months of April and May. The gestation period lasts around 6 months. A few days before giving birth the mother will leave her herd and live in solitary. For up to two months, the mother and her offspring will stay by themselves. During this time the mother watches out for predators that may try to attack her calf. When the calf is three to six weeks old it starts to feed on solid food. At around 2 months after birth, the mother and her young will join a small maternity herd. Young females may stay with their mother for life, while young males usually leave to a herd of young males when they are 6 months old. By 12 months, females become reproductively mature and are ready to breed. Males become reproductively mature when they are 18 months old.
Main threats to Mountain gazelles include poaching for their skin, meat, and horns. They also suffer from road accidents, habitat degradation, and habitat fragmentation. In some areas, they face predation from feral dogs and jackals.
According to the IUCN Red List, the total population size of Mountain gazelles is less than 3,000 individuals. This species’ numbers are decreasing and it is currently classified as Endangered (EN) on the IUCN Red List.
Due to their grazing habits, Mountain gazelles may control the plant communities of their range.