Eland

Scientific name

Tragelaphus oryx

Weight

590 to 997 kilograms (1,300 to 2,200 pounds)

Size

Male: 2 to 3 meters in length (7 to 11 feet) Female: 1 to 3 meters in length (6 to 9 feet) Both: About 2 meters at the shoulder (6.5 feet)

Life span

15 to 20 years

Habitat

Open plains, sub-desert, savanna, and woodlands

Diet

Herbivorous

Gestation

About 9 months

Predators

Humans, lions, and African hunting dogs

Native to more than
17
African countries
Can live up to
25
years in captivity
Of the population,
50%
live on protected land
Eland

Challenges

Elands have experienced population decline due to hunting.

Their rich milk, tasty meat, and useful hides have made them popular ranch animals and hunting targets. Their meat is highly prized, especially by illegal hunters, because each animal provides a large quantity of meat. The world’s largest antelope is becoming widely domesticated due to their high yield of nutritious ‘long life’ antibacterial milk — which also has much higher protein content and milk fat than cow’s milk — in Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Kenya. However, only one attempt to domesticate these antelopes has been successful due to the high food supplemental costs, confining them at night, and herding them during the day.

Human and livestock expansion destroy eland habitats. 

As human populations are growing and expanding settlements and agriculture, they are encroaching on elands living spaces and destroying habitats and food sources. They have been eliminated from more than 50 percent of their historic range due to human encroachment, and since the 1970s, their population decreased dramatically because of civil wars and its aftermath in countries such as Uganda, Rwanda, Angola, and Mozambique.

Solutions

Our solutions to protecting the eland:

Safari/Tourism
Develop conservation tourism.

African Wildlife Foundation brings together private investors with local communities to construct conservation tourism lodges, like The Sanctuary at Ole Lentille, in Kenya. The lodge provides sustainable income for the community and the 20,000-acre conservancy is a safe home to elands and other wildlife.

Protected Area
Set aside space for wildlife.

AWF works with governments and villages to designate wildlife corridors — large swaths of land that elands can use to roam freely and safely from one park, or country, to another. Corridors link protected areas and allow elands to follow rains or travel to their calving grounds.

Eland
Eland

Habitats

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