Antelope species recovers from near extinction
Jul 5, 2011
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) announced that the regal Arabian oryx is facing a brighter future, after nearing the brink of extinction.
The latest update of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species indicated that the oryx, which was hunted until it reached a status of "critically endangered," has moved down on the scale to "vulnerable," with 1,000 individuals counted. Officials say that the news gives an example of a conservation success story.
The Arabian oryx, a species of antelope characterized by its long antlers, can be found on the Arabian peninsula. IUCN reports that the last wild oryx were likely shot in 1972, and the species has been able to make a comeback due to protective legislation in countries like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. Almost all released animals dwell in protected areas, with many other populations living in captivity or in private collections.
The oryx's move on the IUCN Red List marks the first time that a species that was once classified as "extinct in the wild" has moved up three categories.