Dorcas Gazelle (Gazella dorcas)


Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family:    Bovidae
Size:    Length: 36 to 48 inches (90 to 110 cm)   Height: 22 to 26 inches (55 to 65 cm) to shoulder
Weight: 33 to 44 pounds (15 to 20 kg)
Diet: Grass and plants
Distribution: Northern Africa, Middle East
Young:  1 offspring 
Animal Predators:  Lions, cheetahs, leopards, jackals, striped and spotted hyenas and pythons
IUCN Status: Vulnerable
Terms: Young: Calf
Lifespan: Up to 12.5 years in the wild and up to 17 in captivity



·       They are the second smallest gazelle species.

·       Dorcas (dorkas) is a Greek word meaning “gazelle.”

·       An alarm call that the dorcas gazelle makes through its nose sounds like a quack.  



These small, graceful antelopes have light tan fur with a pale reddish-brown stripe on their sides, white and reddish-brown stripes on the face and a white underbelly. Their tail is usually dark brown or black. Males have thick, ringed horns that bend backwards, while females have thinner, straighter horns.  



Dorcas gazelles live in deserts and semi-deserts with stony and sandy terrain. 


Feeding Habits

Dorcas gazelles graze on the flowers, pods and leaves of acacia trees as well as the green leaves of other bushes and trees. Some dorcas gazelles may live their entire lives without ever drinking water, obtaining enough moisture from the foods they eat. 



Females undergo a six-month gestation period. They keep their calf hidden for up to six weeks. Weaning takes place when the youngster is between two and three months of age.



Dorcas gazelles live in single gender herds of about 40 individuals, or mixed gender herds of up to 100. They can maintain run at a steady speed of 30 miles (48 km) per hour, and have even been known to reach speeds as high as 60 miles (96 km) per hour.



According to the IUCN, the number of dorcas gazelles have decreased dramatically, mainly due to overhunting. The other major threat to dorcas gazelles is loss of habitat.