Speke's Gazelle

Speke's Gazelle

Kingdom
Phylum
Subphylum
Class
Order
Family
Subfamily
Genus
SPECIES
Gazella spekei
Population size
Unknown
Life Span
12 yrs
WEIGHT
15-25 kg
HEIGHT
50-60 cm
LENGTH
95-105 cm

The Speke's gazelle is the smallest but very graceful gazelle species. They have a brownish tan back, dark bands on the side and a white belly. The face is light beige with dark stripes near the eyes and down the front of the muzzle. These black stripes around their eyes reduce glare from the sun. Both males and females have S-shaped horns with upward-curving tips, although the horns of the males are larger and broader. These small gazelles are named after John Hanning Speke, an English explorer of Central Africa.

Distribution

Speke's gazelles are native to the Horn of Africa; they occur in Ethiopia and some parts of Somalia. These little gazelles live in stony brush, grass steppes, and semi-deserts.

Speke's Gazelle habitat map

Geography

Continents
Subcontinents
Countries

Climate zones

Habits and Lifestyle

Speke's gazelles are social animals and live in small herds of around 12 animals. Sometimes they may gather into herds of up to 20 animals. Their herds consist of either a dominant male with his harem or the bachelor herd of young and juvenile males. Speke's gazelles are usually active in the early morning and evening. During the heat of the day, they prefer to rest in shades. These delicate gazelles have a sac on their nose which is inflated when they are threatened. This way they can increase the volume of their call, which resembles a honking sound to warn each other of danger. There are also preorbital glands which produce secretions when gazelles are very excited. Another interesting behavior of these little creatures is how they move by bouncing, jumping, and running when frightened. In their nature, Speke's gazelles are migratory animals and move seasonally depending on the availability of vegetation but now these migratory or nomadic patterns are impossible due to severe habitat fragmentation.

Group name
Seasonal behavior

Diet and Nutrition

Speke's gazelles are herbivores. They feed on grasses, shrubs, herbs, and other plants and can stay long periods of time without water.

Mating Habits

PREGNANCY DURATION
6-7 months
BABY CARRYING
1 calf
FEMALE NAME
cow
MALE NAME
bull
BABY NAME
calf, fawn

Little is known about the mating system in Speke's gazelles. Females usually give birth to a single calf after the gestation period of 6 to 7 months. Calves are weaned at 2-3 months after birth. Females become reproductively mature when they are around 9 months old, while males attain maturity at 18 months of age.

Population

Population threats

The main threat to Speke's gazelles is competition with domestic livestock for limited grazing areas. Other serious threats include hunting and poaching, drought and periodic civil and military conflicts over the past 20 years.

Population number

The IUCN Red List and other sources don’t provide the number of the Speke's gazelle total population size. Currently, this species is classified as Endangered (EN) on the IUCN Red List and its numbers today are decreasing.

References

1. Speke's Gazelle on Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speke%27s_gazelle
2. Speke's Gazelle on The IUCN Red List site - https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/8975/50187314

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