Addax

Addax

Share:

  • Information
  • Conservation
  • Lifestyle

Description

The addax is a sandy to white color during the summer and darkens to a shaggy brown in the winter. White markings are annually present on the face accentuating the mat of brown to black hair on the forehead. Both males and females have spiral horns, with those of the males growing longer, 2.5-3 ft (76-91 cm), than of females, 1.5-2.5 ft (46-76 cm). They have widely splayed, flat hooves and prominent dewclaws which enable easy passage over the soft desert sands of the Sahara.

Classification

Class
Mammalia
Order
Cetartiodactyla
Family
Bovidae
Genus
Addax
Species
A. nasomaculatus
Conservation Status
Critically Endangered

Key Facts

Height (at shoulder)
3-3.8 ft (~95-115 cm)
Weight
132-275 lb (~60-125 kg)

The IUCN Red List describes Addax nasomaculatus as Critically Endangered, with a total population estimated at under 100 individuals across the range. The population continues to decline due to ongoing threats of hunting, habitat loss, and disturbance related to oil exploration. A thorough survey conducted by the Sahara Conservation Fund in 2015 failed to find any living addax and founds tracks and other evidence of no more than 25 individuals. A follow-up aerial survey conducted in March of 2016 was only able to find 3 addax.

Social Life
Addax are nomadic, wandering over large areas in search of grazing. When the population was abundant, they would migrate seasonally between the Sahara and the Sahel with groups of up to 1,000 animals. Currently most groups are as small as 5-20 individuals with herds being led by a dominant adult male. Males attempt to establish their own territory with aggressive bouts and try to keep fertile females within these territories. Females also establish a hierarchy of dominance within the herd, with the oldest females ranking the highest. Addax are usually active during the night as well as dawn and dusk, as the Sahara is too hot for daytime activity.  In order to keep cool they will dig to the cooler underlying sand to rest.

Habitat and Range
The addax is one of the most desert-adapted large ungulates and is found in gravelly and sandy regions of the Sahara Desert, with the largest population in Niger. They occur in areas of extreme high and low temperatures combined with periods of extreme drought.

Diet
Addax spend most of their lives crossing great distances in the Sahara searching out the sparse vegetation. When they encounter food they feed on desert succulents, grasses, herbs and leaves of small bushes. They spend most of their lives without drinking water, receiving enough moisture to survive from the vegetation they feed on.

Lifespan
Life expectancy of captive addax range from roughly 19 to 25 years.

Predators
Formerly lions, leopards and hyenas would prey on the addax; today most of the large predators have been extirpated from North Africa.

Reproduction
Sexual maturity: Male: 3 years, Female: 1.5 years
Mating Season: Year-round
Birth Season:    Birthing peaks in winter and early spring
Gestation:         8.5 months
No. of Young:    1-2

Information

Description

The addax is a sandy to white color during the summer and darkens to a shaggy brown in the winter. White markings are annually present on the face accentuating the mat of brown to black hair on the forehead. Both males and females have spiral horns, with those of the males growing longer, 2.5-3 ft (76-91 cm), than of females, 1.5-2.5 ft (46-76 cm). They have widely splayed, flat hooves and prominent dewclaws which enable easy passage over the soft desert sands of the Sahara.

Classification

Class
Mammalia
Order
Cetartiodactyla
Family
Bovidae
Genus
Addax
Species
A. nasomaculatus
Conservation Status
Critically Endangered

Key Facts

Height (at shoulder)
3-3.8 ft (~95-115 cm)
Weight
132-275 lb (~60-125 kg)
Conservation

The IUCN Red List describes Addax nasomaculatus as Critically Endangered, with a total population estimated at under 100 individuals across the range. The population continues to decline due to ongoing threats of hunting, habitat loss, and disturbance related to oil exploration. A thorough survey conducted by the Sahara Conservation Fund in 2015 failed to find any living addax and founds tracks and other evidence of no more than 25 individuals. A follow-up aerial survey conducted in March of 2016 was only able to find 3 addax.

Lifestyle

Social Life
Addax are nomadic, wandering over large areas in search of grazing. When the population was abundant, they would migrate seasonally between the Sahara and the Sahel with groups of up to 1,000 animals. Currently most groups are as small as 5-20 individuals with herds being led by a dominant adult male. Males attempt to establish their own territory with aggressive bouts and try to keep fertile females within these territories. Females also establish a hierarchy of dominance within the herd, with the oldest females ranking the highest. Addax are usually active during the night as well as dawn and dusk, as the Sahara is too hot for daytime activity.  In order to keep cool they will dig to the cooler underlying sand to rest.

Habitat and Range
The addax is one of the most desert-adapted large ungulates and is found in gravelly and sandy regions of the Sahara Desert, with the largest population in Niger. They occur in areas of extreme high and low temperatures combined with periods of extreme drought.

Diet
Addax spend most of their lives crossing great distances in the Sahara searching out the sparse vegetation. When they encounter food they feed on desert succulents, grasses, herbs and leaves of small bushes. They spend most of their lives without drinking water, receiving enough moisture to survive from the vegetation they feed on.

Lifespan
Life expectancy of captive addax range from roughly 19 to 25 years.

Predators
Formerly lions, leopards and hyenas would prey on the addax; today most of the large predators have been extirpated from North Africa.

Reproduction
Sexual maturity: Male: 3 years, Female: 1.5 years
Mating Season: Year-round
Birth Season:    Birthing peaks in winter and early spring
Gestation:         8.5 months
No. of Young:    1-2

Share:

Addax