Addax are plentiful at Squaw Mountain Ranch. While the ranch is known for trophy hunting, it also serves to conserve and breed these beautiful animals. Learn more about the Addax here.
The Addax is a Very Interesting Creature
If you are looking to get to know the Addax, then coming to the Squaw Mountain Ranch is a great place to start. This desert antelope is known for its splayed hooves and nocturnal lifestyle. These majestic beasts used to number much higher than they do now, unfortunately. In their native parts of Northern Africa, this beast used to run in packs of 20 or more individuals. Now, it is much more common to see just 2-4 animals in a small herd. Plus, now, you may even see an individual running around, which was unheard of just a short time ago.
What Does an Addax Look Like?
An Addax looks like a cross between a reindeer and a Kudu. They have spiraled horns, like the Kudu, but the strong, muscular body and coloring of a reindeer. During the winter months, their fur gets to be a darker grey, brown color. However, during the summer months, their fur lightens up and becomes nearly white. Under their bellies, chins, inside their ears, and the blaze across their faces are always white. The females are about 125-150 pounds, while the males are usually about 275-300 pounds. It is not uncommon for the male to outweigh the female by upwards of 200 pounds.
They have splayed feet, making them agile on the sand. When the daytime heat hits, the Addax is nestled into a bed they have dug for themselves in the sand. It keeps them cool, and they always choose to dig it in the shade if any can be found. They get up during the night and forage for food then. They also hunker down in those sand beds if they know that a sandstorm is approaching. When an Addax is kept in captivity, it can live nearly 25 years. However, when out in the wild, the Addax tends to only live about 19 years.
What Does an Addax Eat?
Addax prefer to eat juicy grasses they find around the desert. They do not often drink, instead getting their hydration from their foods. Plus, they have the ability to concentrate any urine they make. This allows them to use the water they take in sparingly, keeping them from dehydration. Their main diet is desert grasses and bits of herbs. However, they are also known to nibble on acacia trees some of the time, when their favorites are not around. Occasionally, the Addax will eat bark from a fallen tree, or even flowers, if they come across any that are moist and fresh. This helps them stay hydrated along with the grasses they enjoy. This variety of antelope is considered to be the most adept at living in a desert out of any variety of antelope alive.
What Type of Habitat Does the Addax Prefer?
The Addax prefers living in a stony and sandy area. They like to climb around, and they love being able to forage for food at their leisure. Since they get their liquid from what they eat, they do not have traditional boundaries of where they must live. Most antelope varieties must live near a fresh source of water, but not the Addax. They have the option of living anywhere that food is available. That is what makes them so well suited to being able to live in areas like the sandy deserts of Africa.
Why Is the Addax Going Down in Numbers?
Over recent years, the number of wild Addax has gone down. Where thousands of them used to roam, now only hundreds do. As of 2007, this poor species went on the critically endangered species list. The numbers are still in decline. The biggest threats to the Addax include hunters and droughts that are killing off their sources of food. Between hunting and encroachment, the estimates are that there may be as many as 500 of these creatures living in the wild. However, that number is considered an over-estimation by many.
The meat of the Addax, plus its leather, are both considered a prize by the locals. The Addax is a slow-moving animal. It is easy to catch if you have a vehicle along with an automatic weapon. They are easy targets, and have been hunted to the brink of extinction. Thankfully, there are some in captivity participating in breeding programs.
Breeding Behaviors of the Addax
The Addax can breed at any point during the year. With nearly 2,000 of these creatures in captivity, this allows for breeding programs to keep working all year long to try and increase the numbers. The most common time for an Addax to give birth is later in the winter months, or early in the spring. The calf is most commonly a singleton. It is very rare to have twins or larger in this breed. Gestation is between 257 days and 264 days long. Males are ready to breed once they are around two years old, while females ware ready once they hit either their second or their third summer. Once a calf is born, it stays by its mother’s side until fully weaned. This happens between 23 weeks on the young end, to 39 weeks on the older end.
The more we can learn about these creatures, the more we can do to save them. It is important that people take the time to share their love of animals. That is what animal conservation efforts are all about. If it was not for conservation efforts started out in Africa many years ago, these animals would already be extinct. Instead, we are lucky enough to still have some of them around to enjoy. Come and see what makes them different than other varieties of antelopes today!
If you want to learn more about these amazing animals, come here and check them out at Squaw Mountain Ranch.