Social organization and demography of reintroduced Dorcas gazelle (Gazella dorcas neglecta) in North Ferlo Fauna Reserve, Senegal.
Mammalia 80(6): 593-600. https://doi.org/10.1515/mammalia-2015-0017
As part of a reintroduction project in Senegal, 23 (9.14) captive-born Dorcas gazelles were released into a 440-ha fenced-in area in Katané (North Ferlo Fauna Reserve, Senegal) in March 2009. After 4 years of seasonal monitoring, the gazelles showed progressive adaptation of their behavior to semi-wild living conditions. Breeding gradually became seasonal, and 53.8% of births occurred during the rainy season (July to September). Gazelle group size and composition varied seasonally. Groups were smallest during the dry season (2.29±1.72) and largest at the beginning of the rainy season (4.18±2.73). Social group composition also showed seasonal variation. There were always a larger proportion of solitary males than solitary females and mixed couples were observed throughout the year. All-male groups were found the least. The proportion of adult females with subadults and juveniles decreased during the early rainy season, while mixed adults, subadults and juveniles groups increased during this period. The mortality rate during the first weeks after release was 13%. Four years of monitoring after release, demographic traits of this released population reveal its adaptation from captive to natural-living conditions.