Evidence of browsing pressure on the critically endangered Acacia gazelle (Gazella acaciae)

Benjamin Breslau, Tal Polak, Benny Shalmon, Elli Groner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The Arabian Gazelle (Gazella arabica) is vulnerable throughout its range. Israel's population, known locally as the Acacia gazelle (G. acaciae), is critically endangered. The entire 22-individual population inhabits a 3.5 km2 enclosure and, at the time of the experiment, shared the space with over 120 dorcas gazelles (G. dorcas). This study investigated whether the Acacia gazelles faced significant browsing pressure in their enclosure by comparing the browsing line and lowest leaf of Acacia trees in the Acacia gazelle enclosure to those of dorcas gazelle habitats in Evrona, Yotvata Hai Bar, Shezaf, and Wadi Shita. We discovered a significantly higher browsing line in the Acacia Gazelle Enclosure than in the other gazelle habitats, implying that the Acacia gazelles faced high browsing pressure that may affect their survival. Our study will inform the way that Israel's Acacia gazelle reintroduction program manages the population, and will influence the determination of locations and conditions for future reintroductions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104019
JournalJournal of Arid Environments
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2020


  • Acacia gazelle
  • Acacia tree
  • Arabian gazelle
  • Arava
  • Browsing line
  • Competition
  • Dorcas gazelle
  • Lowest leaf

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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