Nineteen different areas in south-west Saudi Arabia from which mountain gazelle Gazella gazella cora were reported between 1988 and 1992 were visited during a field survey conducted between August 1992 and February 1993. Evidence of the continued presence of gazelle was found at 11 of these locations. All populations were small: estimated population sizes ranged from 5 to 50. In the remaining eight areas it appeared that gazelle had become locally extinct since the last report. Thus gazelle populations appear to be becoming extinct at an alarming rate (eight out of 19, or 42, in five years). The major cause of extinctions and threat to existing populations is illegal hunting. Traditional conservation measures will take time to implement, and may be too late to save most gazelle populations. Instead, protection enforced by a system of auxiliary rangers, recruited from among the local population and working in cooperation with the forces of the local civilian administration, is recommended.
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