3 Antelope Species found in Somalia (2024)

What are the different kinds of antelopes that live in Somalia?

Types of antelopes in Somalia

There are an astounding number of separate antelope species found here! These remarkable creatures are very different from each other, each one being uniquely adapted to its specific habitat.

In this article, you’ll find interesting facts, photos, and even range maps so you can learn all about these incredible animals!

3 Antelopes Found in Somalia:

#1. Klipspringer

  • Oreotragus oreotragus

Types of antelopes in Somalia

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are 43–60 cm (17–24 in) tall at the shoulder.
  • Adults are stocky with short necks and bodies, large hindquarters, large rounded ears, and sometimes short, straight horns.
  • Their coats may be yellow and speckled with brown, bright golden-yellow, or gray and dull, with each individual hair being light at the base and dark towards the tip.

Look for Klipspringers in the arid, rocky hills of Somalia.

To make life in these rocky regions a bit easier, Klipspringers have specially adapted feet. The last joints of their toes are rotated so that they walk on the tips of their hooves. The rocks wear the hooves down into cylindrical shapes well-suited for balancing on the rocks.

These unique little antelopes are also monogamous to a greater extent than most other antelopes. A pair will mark and defend a territory together, with males performing dominance displays and butting heads. Females are a bit aggressive too, and may bite and rip out each other’s fur.

Klipspringers are usually most active in the morning and evening. One of the pair, usually the male, will stand guard while the other feeds. They are preyed on by many large predators and have to remain constantly alert.

#2. Gerenuk

  • Litocranius walleri

Types of antelopes in Somalia

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are 80–105 cm (31-41 in) tall at the shoulder.
  • They are tawny brown with a reddish saddle on their back, white on their undersides, black outlines around their eyes with white circles around them, and white inner ears with black markings.
  • They have distinctive long necks and long thin legs, and adult males have ringed, scimitar-shaped horns that are 25–44 cm (10–17 in) long.

Look for this antelope in Somalia in dry, brushy regions.

Gerenuks feed on the leaves, shoots, flowers, and fruit from various trees and bushes. They’re most active during the day, but they usually stand or rest in the shade in the hottest hours. This is the best time to catch a glimpse!

Gerenuks use their long legs and necks to their advantage! They stand up on their hind legs to grab food that’s out of reach for most other antelope species. These amazing creatures can reach up to 2 m (6.6 ft) off the ground.

Gerenuks usually live in small herds of up to ten members, though some males live a solitary life. Males are very territorial and mark their territories by rubbing their preorbital glands on trees and shrubs. This releases a musk that other Gerenuks can identify, warning them away.

Unfortunately, this unique species is in danger of extinction because of climate change and human development of their range. Gerenuks are listed as near threatened on the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species.

#3. Dorcas Gazelle

  • Gazella dorcas

Types of antelopes in Somalia

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are 55–65 cm (22-26 in) tall at the shoulder.
  • They are pale-colored with white underbellies and a rufous stripe down their sides, separating their upper and lower coloring.
  • They have white eye rings, a pair of white and dark brown stripes running from each eye to the corners of the mouth, and ringed, lyre-shaped horns, which are generally thinner, straighter, and shorter in females.

These antelopes thrive in the dry habitats of Somalia.

Dorcas Gazelles are the second smallest gazelle species. They’re well adapted to the desert and live in arid places like dry savannas, semi-deserts, wadis, small sand dune fields, steppes, and mountain deserts.

Unsurprisingly, they can easily handle high temperatures and harsh sunlight. Despite these intense conditions, they don’t need much water and get most of their moisture from their food, though they will drink when it’s available.

If these antelope spot a predator, they twitch their tails and make bounding leaps to warn others and confuse their attacker. Dorcas Gazelles are often able to make an escape if a predator gives chase. Their long, slender legs allow them to sprint away at speeds of 80-100 kph (50-62 mph). They can even make quick zig-zags which help them to escape cheetahs.

Unfortunately, these fascinating creatures are listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of endangered species. Their populations have declined significantly as they have faced extreme habitat loss due to land development and climate change.

Check out these other guides about animals found in Somalia!

Which of these antelopes have you seen before in Somalia?

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