MAMMAL OF THE WEEK

The Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) and the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) launched the 2016 Red List of Mammals of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland in December 2016. Each week, we’ll be bringing you new species assessments, and introducing you to our Mammal of the Week, based on this updated Red List.

Springbok
Antidorcas marsupialis

This week’s mammal of the week is South Africa’s national animal, the Springbok. Did you know that the species name marsupialis (cf. marsupials) refers to the small, bag-like “pronk” on the back of the Springbok, which is flared open when “pronking” or stotting, displaying the snow white hair? In South Africa, the Springbok was almost exterminated over much of its natural range during the 19th century in the Free State, the former Transvaal and, in the former Cape Province. This was as a result of hunting, rinderpest and farm fences blocking their migratory routes. However, the species has subsequently been reintroduced widely to private land and protected areas throughout its former range and beyond. As there are no major threats to the species and the population is stable, the species is listed as Least Concern.

For more information visit https://www.ewt.org.za/Reddata/reddata.html

The 2016 Red List of Mammals of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland was funded via the South African National Biodiversity Institute (through a grant by the Norwegian Government that aims to build capacity in the southern Africa region for undertaking assessments), the Endangered Wildlife Trust, the Department of Environmental Affairs, E Oppenheimer & Son and De Beers Group of Companies.