Cuvier’s Gazelle are hunted for skins, meat and as a trophy, especially since motorized hunting with modern firearms has become feasible. Although increasing legal protection and better protection in reserves has reduced hunting pressure they are still probably the target of a low level general demand for gazelle meat, which is periodically accelerated in association with special occasions.
Habitat degradation is also a major threat to the species, mainly due to the transformation of forests into cropland and pastures for livestock, and for charcoal, and it has greatly reduced the former range of the Cuvier’s gazelle and led to fragmented populations.
The gazelles you can see here at RSE come from EEZA, in Almería (south of Spain). EEZA is the Spanish abbreviation for Experimetal Station of Arid Zones, which is a branch of work of CISC (Higher Council for Scientific Research in Spain). The purpose of the project involving this species in particular is to increase its number by safely breeding a healthy population in captivity, the same as other exsitu conservation programmes – but their ongoing research is also focused on reintroducing groups of gazelle into protected areas in their natural habitats in Northern Africa. A group of Cuvier’s gazelle was successfully transferred in 2016 to Jebel Serj National Park, in Tunisia.