Wild ungulates in Jordan: past, present, and forthcoming opportunities

Main Article Content

Ehab Eid
David Mallon


Twelve species of ungulates are reported from the wild in Jordan. Three of these, Addax nasomaculatus (Addax), Bos primigenius (Aurochs), and Cervus elaphus (Red Deer) are known only from archaeological excavations. Dama mesopotamica (Mesopotamian Fallow Deer), Oryx leucoryx (Arabian Oryx) and Equus hemionus hemippus (Syrian Wild Ass) have been regionally extirpated in the wild. A semi-captive population of Persian Onager (E. h. hemionus) is held in Shumari Wildlife Reserve. The Arabian Oryx is also managed in semi-captive conditions in two reserves. Except the commonly occurring Wild Boar (Sus scrofa), other surviving ungulate species continue to be under serious threat. Gazella gazella (Palestinian Mountain Gazelle), Capreolus capreolus (European Roe Deer), Gazella marica (Arabian Sand Gazelle), and Gazella dorcas (Dorcas Gazelle) are Critically Endangered, and Capra nubiana (Nubian Ibex) is Endangered in the region. This paper provides a review of the historical and current status of wild ungulates in Jordan, listing the threats and conservation measures and provides recommendations for management and conservation in the future.

Article Details

How to Cite
Eid, E. and Mallon, D. 2021. Wild ungulates in Jordan: past, present, and forthcoming opportunities. Journal of Threatened Taxa. 13, 9 (Aug. 2021), 19338–19351. DOI:https://doi.org/10.11609/jott.6811.13.9.19338-19351.


Abu-Jafar, M.Z. & C. Hays-Shahin (1988). Re-introduction of the Arabian Oryx into Jordan, pp. 35–40. In: Dixon, A. & D. Jones (eds.). Conservation and Biology of Desert Antelopes. Christopher Helm, London, 499pp.

Abu-Eid, O. (2001). An overview of reintroduction programmes in Jordan. Al Reem 70: 10–11.

Al Eisawi, D. (1996). Vegetation of Jordan. UNESCO Cairo Office, Cairo.

Aloufi, A. & E. Eid (2014). Conservation Perspectives of Illegal Animal Trade at Tabuk Local Market, Kingdome of Saudi Arabia. Traffic Bulletin 26: 2.

Amr, Z. (2012). Mammals of Jordan. 2nd Edition. Al Rai Press. Amman, 308pp.

Amr, Z.S. & A.M. Disi (1988). Jordanian Mammals Acquired by the Jordan University Natural History Museum. Publication of the University of Jordan, Amman, 32pp.

Amr, Z.S., M.A. Baker & L. Rifai (2004). Mammals of Jordan. Denisia 14: 437–465.

Amr, Z.S., S.C. Woodbury & A.M. Disi (1987). On a collection of mammals from Jordan. Dirasat 14: 131–136.

Anon. (1946). The Schmitz collection of Mammals. Bulletin Jerusalem Nature Club. 23: 1–2.

Bar-Oz, G., M. Zeder & F. Hole (2011). Role of mass-kill hunting strategies in the extirpation of Persian Gazelle (Gazella subgutturosa) in the Northern Levant. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 108: 3745–3750.

Bates, D.M.A. (1937). New Pleistocene mammals from Palestine. The Annals and Magazine of Natural History. 29: 397–400.

Betts, A. & D. Burke (2015). Desert kites in Jordan – a new appraisal. Arabian Archaeology and Epigraphy 26: 74–94.

Bodenheimer, F.S. (1958). The present taxonomic status of the terrestrial mammals of Palestine. Bulletin of the Research Council of Israel 7b: 165–190.

Boessneck. J. & A. Von Den Driesch (1978). Preliminary analysis of the animal bones from Tel Hesban. Andrews University Monographs 10: 259–287.

Budieri, A. (1995). Captive breeding programme-biodiversity country study. The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Report for United Nations Development Programme & Global Environmental Facility, Amman, Jordan.

Carruthers, D. (1935). Arabian Adventure. H.E and G. Witherby, London, 200 pp.

Catullo, G., P. Ciucci, A. Disi & L. Boitani (1996). Nubian ibex in southwestern Jordan (Dana Nature Reserve). Oryx 30: 222–224.

Clarke, J.E. (1976). A preliminary Study of Jordan’s proposed national parks. Unpublished report. Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature. Amman.

Clarke, J.E. (1977). Shumari Wildlife Reserve management plan. Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature. Amman.

Clarke, J.E. (1979). A proposal for wildlife reserves in Jordan (IUCN Project 1591). Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature, Amman.

Dollman, G. & J.B. Burlace (1935). Rowland ward’s records of big game. African and Asiatic Sections. 10th edition. Rowland Ward, London, 433 pp.

Eid, E. & Y. Ananbeh (2009). Assessment of the release program of the European Roe Deer Capreolus capreolus (Cetartiodactyla: Cervidae) at Ajloun Nature Reserve, Jordan. Journal of Threatened Taxa 1(6): 323–326. https://doi.org/10.11609/JoTT.o2103.323-6

Eid, E. & R. Handal (2018). Illegal hunting in Jordan: Using social media to assess impacts on wildlife. Oryx. 52: 730-735. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0030605316001629

Eid, E. & M. Owaji (2011). Nubian Ibex Survey at Dana Biosphere Reserve. Unpublished Report. Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature, Amman.

Eid, E., M,A. Baker & Z. Amr (2020). National Red Data Book of Mammals in Jordan. Amman. Jordan: IUCN Regional Office for West Asia. Amman. https://doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.CH.2020.12.en

Fitter, M. (1967). New Hope for Wildlife in Jordan. Oryx 9: 35–38. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0030605300005810

Gerrard, A.N., S. College, C. Hunt & R. Montagle (1988). Environment, settlement and subsistence during the late Pleistocene and early Holocene in the Azraq Basin. Colloque International CNRS. Prehistorik du Levant. 2.

Habibi, K. (1994). The desert ibex: life history, ecology, and behavior of the Nubian ibex in Saudi Arabia. Immel Publishing, London, 192 pp.

Harding, L., O, Abu-Eid, N. Hamidan & A. Al Sha’lan (2007). Reintroduction of the Arabian oryx Oryx leucoryx in Jordan: War and redemption. Oryx 41: 478–487. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0030605307005029

Harrison, D.L. (1968). The Mammals of Arabia: Carnivora, Hyracoida and Artiodactyla. Vol. 2. Ernest Benn Ltd., London, 381pp.

Harrison, D.L. (1972). The Mammals of Arabia. Volume 3: Lagomorpha, Rodentia. Ernest Benn, Ltd. London, 670pp.

Harrison, D.L. & P.J. Bates (1991). The Mammals of Arabia. Harrison Zoological Museum, Kent, 354pp.

Hatough, A.M.A. & D.M. Al-Eisawi (1988). The Arabian Oryx in Jordan. Journal of Arid Environments 14: 291–300.

Hatough-Bouran, A. & A.M. Disi (1991). History, distribution and conservation of large mammals and their habitats in Jordan. Environmental Conservation 18: 19–32.

Hays, C. & N. Bandak (1997). Jordan. In: Shackleton, D.M. (ed.) Wild sheep and goats and their relatives. Status survey and conservation action plan for Caprinae. IUCN/SSC Caprinae Specialist Group, pp. 60–63. IUCN/SSC Caprinae Specialist Group, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

IUCN/SSC (2013). Guidelines for Reintroductions and Other Conservation

Translocations. Version 1.0. Gland, Switzerland: IUCN Species Survival Commission,

viiii + 57 pp.

Kaczensky, P., B. Lkhagvasuren, O. Pereladova, M. Hemami, & A. Bouskila (2015). Equus hemionus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T7951A45171204. https://doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2015-4.RLTS.T7951A45171204.en

Khoury, F., Z. Amr, N. Hamidan, I. Al Hassani, S. Mir, E. Eid & N. Boulad (2012). Some Introduced vertebrate ppecies to the Hashemite Kingdome of Jordan. Vertebrate Zoology 62: 435–451.

Kiwan, K., J. Boef & A. Boudari (2001). Chapter 18. Jordan. In: Mallon, D.P. & S.C. Kingswood (compilers). Antelopes. Part 4: North Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Global Survey and Regional Action Plans. SSC Antelope Specialist Group. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK, viii+260pp.

Meinertzhagen, R. (1924). An account of a journey across the southern Syrian desert from Amman in Transjordania to Ramadi on the Euphrates. Ibis 11: 87–100.

Mountfort, G. (1965). Portrait of a Desert. Collins. London, 192pp.

Musil, A. (1927). The Middle Euphrates. American Geographic Society. New York, 426pp.

Nelson, B. (1985). Return to Azraq. Oryx 19: 22–26.

Qumsiyeh, M.B. (1996). Mammals of the Holy Land. Texas Tech University Press, Lubbock, 389pp.

Qumsiyeh, M.B., Z.S. Amr & A.M. Budairi (1996). Status and conservation of Artiodactyla (Mammalia) in Jordan. Mammalia 60: 417–430.

Rahamat, O. (1982). The Wild Boar. Al-Reem. 10: 12–13.

Raswan, C.R. (1935). The Black Tents of Arabia. Hutchinson. London, 280pp.

Talbot, L.M.A. (1960). A look at threatened species. A report on some animals of the Middle East and southern Asia, which are threatened with extermination. Oryx 5: 153.

Tchernov, E.T. Dayan & Y. Yom-Tov (1986/7). The paleogeography of Gazella gazelle and Gazella dorcus during the Holocene of the southern Levant. Israel Journal of Zoology 34: 51–59.

Tristram, H.B. (1884). The Survey of Western Palestine. The Fauna and Flora of Palestine. Palestine Exploration Fund, London, 455pp.

Uerpmann, H.P. (1987). The ancient distribution of ungulate mammals in the Middle East. Wiesbaden, Ludwig Reichert Verlag, 173pp.

Wacher, T., T. Wronski, R.L. Hammond, B. Winney, M.J. Blacket, K.L. Hundertmark, O.B. Mohammed, Sa. Omer, W. Macasero, H. Lerp, M. Plath & C. Bleidorn (2010). Phylogenetic analysis of mitochondrial DNA sequences reveals polyphyly in the Goitred Gazelle (Gazella subgutturosa). Conservation Genetics 12: 827–831.