Ex situ management of Beira antelope Dorcatragus megalotis at Al Wabra Wildlife Preservation, Qatar

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Abstract

Al Wabra Wildlife Preservation (AWWP), Qatar, is the only facility worldwide to keep the Beira antelope Dorcatragus megalotis, a small antelope from East Africa, listed as Vulnerable by The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Physical, behavioural and physiological characteristics of the species are described in detail, based on observations in captivity. At AWWP, the Beira antelope population increased from 2000 until 2006 when it declined dramatically as a result of an epidemic-like outbreak of a respiratory disease most likely owing to a Mycoplasma infection. Management at AWWP includes a diet based on natural forage, careful group composition, enclosure design adapted to the need of the species and close monitoring. Apart from their important conservation status, Beira antelope are highly attractive animals with a particular shape and coloration, and a docile nature.

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