Day 86 of #the100dayproject and my #realandendangered project. Today, I want to highlight the Hirola, which is considered the world’s rarest and most endangered antelope (currently restricted to an area of approximately 7,600 km² along the border of Kenya and Somalia). Take time to read the following information. This species really needs all the support: 1. Their nickname is the “four-eyed antelope” due to enlarged preorbital glands (used to mark territory) beneath their eyes. 2. They have white spectacle-markings around their eyes, linked by a narrow, white chevron. 3. Both males and females have well-developed lyre-shaped horns. 4. Their name comes from the Somali pastoral community, which has given refuge to this species and consider it to have spiritual significance (linked to cattle keeping). 5. They are selective grazers, as their diet consists mainly of short grasses.
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature currently lists them as "critically endangered." Their numbers have plummeted drastically from the 1970s (14,000-16,000 individuals) to less than 250 today (with zero in captivity). They are threatened by drought, poaching, disease, predation, competition with livestock, and habitat loss. According to the IUCN "The loss of the Hirola would be the first extinction of a mammalian genus on mainland Africa in modern human history" - but also their extinction would mean the loss of of an entire ancient antelope group. There is an conservation action plan for this species, but recovery has been difficult due to barriers between the government, conservationists, and locals. To start, conservationists must gain the support of local communities and urge Hirola lands to be protected and restored. However, they will need additional actions if they are to be saved. #enmlillustration #thesadhappy #digitalart