The Mesopotamian civilization existed in the Middle East from ancient times. As a result, there were many fertile areas, making it easy for creatures to settle there. The mountain gazelle is a gazelle that lives in Turkey, Israel, Lebanon, and even Egypt, but in recent years it has been suggested that it may become extinct. Why is the possibility of extinction increasing?
Mountain gazelles are most abundant in Israel, the West Bank of Palestine, the Golan Heights in southern Syria, and Turkey.
The mountain gazelle belongs to the artiodactyl order Bovidae and has a body length of 1 m and horns of about 30 cm. Mountain gazelles prefer dry, arid environments. Much of the water comes from the plants we consume. Mountain gazelles spend most of their time on the flat tops and summits of mountains, hills, and valleys. Mountain gazelles prefer to sleep on high, well-ventilated areas to avoid the heat of the day. Given that mountain gazelles prefer high places, they are less well adapted to hot, dry environments than other ungulates. Mountain gazelles are awake most of the day and sleep at night. They also have a strong sense of territory within their flocks, and live in groups of about three.
Mountain gazelles love and eat grass and shrubs. Water is also obtained from these sources. Mountain gazelles are polygynous and do not spend their entire lives with one partner. The breeding season for mountain gazelles is during the winter months. Females give birth to one pup per year, mainly around April to May. The cubs do not follow their mother for several weeks, relying on camouflage and lying perfectly still to avoid detection by predators (golden eagles, stray dogs, foxes, golden jackals, Arabian wolves). Sexual maturity is around 18 months. Mountain gazelles have a lifespan of about 8 years.
Mountain gazelles are fairly common in the Middle East and have even been seen in Turkey. Mountain gazelles were once hunted for food, but in 1955 hunting mountain gazelles became illegal in Israel. Estimates in 2019 found that between 300 and 1,300 gazelles are poached annually. Mountain gazelles’ biggest threats are illegal hunting and habitat destruction, war, and being hit by cars. Human environmental destruction is the biggest bottleneck. As a result, conservation efforts are underway, and mountain gazelles have been released into the Gazelle Valley in Jerusalem, where they roam freely. Their habitat has also been fragmented by the West Bank separation wall built by Israel between 2000 and 2005.
Mountain gazelles are quite difficult to keep. The population is decreasing and it is impossible for ordinary people to keep them, so please go to a zoo or go to the Middle East.