Formerly widespread in the Sahara and Sahel zones, but their range and numbers have been extremely reduced. Dama Gazelle are now probably extinct from Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia and small populations only occur now in patched areas of Niger, Chad and Mali.
The Dama or Mhorr gazelle is listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List, with a wild population numbering less than 250 mature individuals and facing numerous threats, such as uncontrolled hunting, human disturbance and habitat loss, or habitat quality degradation, due to overgrazing by domestic livestock and also from prolonged drought having an impact on pasture quality.
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.