Hirola is known as the world’s rarest antelope since its total global population is currently less than 500 members. The specie is in a threat of extinction due to environmental changes and poachers. To keep tabs on these antelopes and to ensure their safety, Zoological Society of London has now helped in GPS collaring nine hirolas.
The idea is to study the behaviors of these antelopes and to ensure that not harm comes to them. All the known members of the specie are confined to the north-eastern Kenya. ZSL selected the nine antelopes that it collared after studying the individual members of the specie for some 18 months.
With the help of the GPS collars, ZSL will be able to gather data about these antelopes’ location every three hours. The data will be collected for the duration of next year, after which the collars will be retrieved and the data recorded by them will then be analysed.
Commenting on the program, ZSL’s Cath Lawson stated, “Hirola is an EDGE (Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered) species – one of the most unique and threatened animals on the planet. Over the past thirty years numbers have plummeted by almost 90 percent, and they continue to decline. As the sole representative of its group, the loss of the hirola would be the first extinction of a mammalian genus on mainland Africa in more than 100 years.”
Researchers are hoping that with the help of this project, they will be able to get better insights into the lifestyle of a hirola, insights which may otherwise have been impossible to gather.
Courtesy: Tree Hugger