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Goitered gazelle (Gazella subgutturosa)

The goitered gazelle, Gazella subgutturosa, inhabits deserts, sub-desert steppes, limestone plateaus, and gravel plains from northern China and Mongolia to the Arabian Peninsula. They have been observed in mountain valleys or plateaus, near foothills with “broken ground” and in flat or rolling landscapes. Goitered gazelles are well adapted to hot and dry desert conditions. Historically, the goitered gazelle in Central Asia migrated during autumn and spring between northern steppes and southern deserts.

Goitered GazelleThe severe loss of habitat in recent decades has severely limited the gazelle’s movement (50-60 km/30-40 miles) to only portions of its former range. Very little is known regarding the distribution of the goitered gazelle in Afghanistan and Iraq. In Afghanistan its range used to include the western and southwestern regions of the country, but by the late 1970s the species had been reduced to a small portion of this range.

According to the IUCN (2008) the global population of the goitered gazelle was estimated at 120,000-140,000 in 2001, yet this population is expected to be lower today because of continued illegal hunting and habitat loss. The greatest threats facing the goitered gazelle are (illegal) hunting, habitat degradation, destruction and conversion of land to other uses such as agriculture and construction. The species is protected in Afghanistan. 

Goitered gazelles are of medium size and light build. The species is generally light brown in color, varying with shades of gray, red, white, and yellow. The tail is relatively short and tufted for two-thirds of its length with dark brown or black hair. Males have long black horns that curve upward and backward, widening in a curve before the sharp tips close inward and slightly forward. Horns are often lacking or poorly-developed in females.



Heidi Kretser, Ph.D.
Wildlife Conservation Society 7 Brandy Brook Ave Saranac Lake, NY 12983 USA
518 891-8872 ext 105