The center of its distribution is found in the Great Western Erg, the Great Eastern Erg, the sandy zone which stretches from the Hamada de Tinrhert in Algeria to the Fezzan in Libya, and the smaller ergs in the periphery of the central Saharan massifs of the Hoggar and the Tassili des Ajjers (Beudels and Devillers, in press).
It is believed that the slender-horned gazelle was very widely distributed in the Sahara until relatively recently. In the last 10 years, its presence has been confirmed only in the Great Ergs of Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and the extreme Western desert of Egypt. No reports to the south of these locations have been supported by any hard evidence (Beudels and Devillers, in press).
Distribution in Egypt
Localized (Western Desert). No obvious decline in occupancy from 1950 but the decline is more recent, since it is known to have declined in abundance from hunting and currently to occupy a different distribution from its former range.
Sudan, Egypt, Algeria, Libya
Habitat and Ecology
Life History and Behavior
Lifespan, longevity, and ageing
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Barcode data: Gazella leptoceros
Below is the sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.
See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen.
Other sequences that do not yet meet barcode criteria may also be available.
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Download FASTA File
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Gazella leptoceros
Public Records: 1
Specimens with Barcodes: 1
Species With Barcodes: 1
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
- 1994Endangered(Groombridge 1994)
- 1990Endangered(IUCN 1990)
- 1988Vulnerable(IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1988)
- 1986Vulnerable(IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1986)
Date Listed: 06/02/1970
Lead Region: Foreign (Region 10)
Where Listed: Sudan, Egypt, Algeria, Libya
Population location: Sudan, Egypt, Algeria, Libya
Listing status: E
For most current information and documents related to the conservation status and management of Gazella leptoceros , see its USFWS Species Profile
Status in Egypt
Known to occur in Djebil National Park and Senghar National Park in Tunisia, Tassili des Ajjers National Park in Algeria (where reported from the Erg of T'im Merzouga; K. de Smet pers. comm. 2007), and possibly the Aïr-Ténéré National Nature Reserve (Niger). The species is present in about 20 collections in North Africa, Europe and North America (Devillers et al. 2005). The total number in captivity is <200.
Listed on CITES Appendix I.
The palest of the gazelles, this animal has adapted to desert life in many ways. Their pale coats reflect the sun's rays instead of absorbing them, and their hooves are slightly enlarged to help them walk on the sand, although occasionally they occupy stony regions. The horns on the male are slender and slightly S-shaped; those of the female are even thinner, lighter and less curved.
The rhim or rheem gazelle is found in isolated pockets across the central Sahara Desert.  The extreme heat of this environment limits their feeding to the early morning and evening, and G. leptoceros gains most of its water requirements from dew and plant moisture, relying little on open water sources.
The rhim gazelle is a nomadic species, moving across its desert range in search of vegetation, though it does not have a set migratory pattern. 
Endangered by the early 1970s, this species of gazelle was in serious decline. They were hunted firstly by mounted then by motorized hunters for sport, meat, or their horns, which were sold as ornaments in North African markets.
Rhim gazelle in philately
- Mallon, D.P., Cuzin, F., de Smet, K. & Hoffmann, M. (2008). "Gazella leptoceros". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 22 August 2011.
- (Kingdom 1997[full citation needed], Spinage 1986[full citation needed]).
- (East 1997[full citation needed], Kingdom 1997).
- Libyan Stamps online
- ARKive - Images and movies of the rhim gazelle (Gazella leptoceros)
- Bizarre Survival Tactic: Gazelles Shrink Heart to Beat Heat
- Rhim gazelle's postal stamps on YouTube
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