Rare Angolan antelope tracked by research team

Jul 27, 2009
One of the last remaining images of Angola's elusive giant sable antelope, last seen 30 years ago before the country's civil war. A rare Angolan antelope feared to have been killed off during a 27-year civil war has been located, giving hope for the future preservation of the species, a government official said Monday.

A rare Angolan antelope feared to have been killed off during a 27-year civil war has been located, giving hope for the future preservation of the species, a government official said Monday.

Scientists at the weekend spotted three giant black sable antelope -- endemic to Angola where they are the country's national symbol and known in Portuguese as the Palanca Negra -- in two northern reserves.

"This is a huge step for us and it really pushes the project forward," Vladimir Russo, Angola?s national director of environmental management, told AFP.

"We were able to put a collar on one of the females which contains a (GPS) tracker so we can follow her to find the rest of the herd. It?s really great news, we are all very excited."

A project was launched at the end of the war in 2002 to find the elusive Palanca Negra, which is also the nickname for the country?s football team, with fears that decades of conflict had wiped out the animals.

Until now there had been just a handful of sightings, mostly via cameras left in national parks or by local shepherds, but the team struck gold at the weekend by spotting the three animals by helicopter in the Cangandala National Park and Luando Reserve.

Russo said the plan was to try to find more animals over the next two weeks and then using the GPS trackers, round up as many as possible and take them to a specially-built 400-hectare sanctuary within Cangandala.

The giant sable is listed as critically endangered by the International Union for of Nature.

(c) 2009 AFP

Explore further: Telling the time of day by color

Related Stories

Photo reveals rare okapi survived poaching onslaught

Sep 10, 2008

A set of stripy legs in a camera trap photo snapped in an African forest indicates something to cheer about, say researchers from the Wildlife Conservation Society. The legs belong to an okapi -- a rare forest ...

Are Ice Age relics the next casualty of climate change?

Apr 24, 2008

The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) recently launched a four-year study to determine if climate change is affecting populations of a quintessential Arctic denizen: the rare musk ox. Along with collaborators ...

First albino buffalo spotted in Kenyan park

Apr 24, 2009

Rangers in Kenya's Hellsgate National Park have spotted an albino buffalo, the first of its kind ever recorded in the wildlife rich country, park officials said Friday.

Recommended for you

Telling the time of day by color

Apr 17, 2015

Research by scientists at The University of Manchester has revealed that the colour of light has a major impact on how the brain clock measures time of day and on how the animals' physiology and behavior adjust accordingly. ...

Aphrodisiac for fish and frogs discovered

Apr 17, 2015

A supplement simply added to water has been shown to boost reproduction in nematodes (roundworms), molluscs, fish and frogs – and researchers believe it could work for humans too.

Evolution puts checks on virgin births

Apr 17, 2015

It seems unnatural that a species could survive without having sex. Yet over the ages, evolution has endowed females of certain species of amphibians, reptiles and fish with the ability to clone themselves, ...

Humans can't resist those puppy-dog eyes

Apr 16, 2015

When humans and their four-legged, furry best friends look into one another's eyes, there is biological evidence that their bond strengthens, researchers report.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.