Antelopes - Global Survey and Regional Action Plans, Part 4: North Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
260 Seiten. Verbreitungskarten.
IUCN, Gland. ISBN 2-8317-0594-0.
The IUCN/SSC Antelope Specialist Group was created in 1978 and currently has more than 100 members based in over 40 countries .A key objective of the group is to monitor the conservation status of all antelope species .The publication of Part 4 of Antelopes: Global Survey and Regional
Action Plans is an important and eagerly awaited milestone in achieving this objective .Following on from Parts 1 to 3, which dealt with the antelopes of sub-Saharan Africa, Part 4 completes the Antelope Specialist Group’s efforts to summarise current knowledge of the status of each antelope
species in all of its range states, and to develop Regional Action Plans for antelope conservation.
The completion of Part 4 is a tribute to the unstinting efforts and persistence of the compilers. They have produced a comprehensive work, which is a major addition to our knowledge of antelopes and will be of lasting value to antelope conservation .As the compiler of Parts 1 to 3 of
Antelopes: Global Survey and Regional Action Plans, I am uniquely placed to understand the magnitude of the compilers’ task. This is exacerbated by the relatively large number of species and range states that are covered by the Antelope Specialist Group. I warmly congratulate David Mallon and Steven Kingswood on their successful completion of this mammoth undertaking.
With almost 100 species globally, antelopes achieve an exceptionally high diversity compared to most other groups of medium to large-sized mammals . The living antelope species represent the continuation of a major and relatively recent evolutionary heritage and are among the most successful groups of large herbivores that have ever existed on Earth .They are also important flagship species for the conservation of natural environments .Flourishing antelope populations are key indicators of healthy grasslands, woodlands, forests, and deserts in many parts of Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Hence, the conservation of antelopes is a vital component of biodiversity conservation throughout these regions .In addition, the beauty and grace of antelopes give them high aesthetic value. They are also an important natural resource in economic terms, through consumptive uses such as hunting for trophies, meat, and skins, and non-consumptive uses such as game-viewing tourism.
Threats to the survival of antelopes arise fundamentally from the growth of human and domestic livestock populations, which result in increasing degradation and destruction of natural habitats and excessive offtake by hunting for meat and skins. Unfortunately, these processes are even more advanced in much of the region covered by Part 4 of Antelopes: Global Survey and Regional Action Plans than in sub-Saharan Africa. Consequently, antelope populations have been severely depleted or exterminated over large parts of North Africa, the Middle East, and Asia .Nevertheless, viable and sometimes substantial remnants of most of the region’s antelope species survive.
Emphasis must now shift to the implementation of the conservation priorities identified in the Regional Action Plan, within the context of sustainable development and the conservation of biological diversity .Co-ordinated efforts by government and non-government agencies and conservation organisations will be essential to implement the protection and management regimes which are required to assure the long-term survival of representative examples of this spectacular group of mammals and their natural habitats.
Co-Chair, Antelope Specialist Group