With a quarter of antelope species threatened with extinction and over 60% suffering declines in their populations, Marwell Wildlife has joined forces with the IUCN Species Survival Commission to host the new Antelope Specialist Group (ASG) Programme Office. ASG is the world’s leading body of scientific and practical expertise on the status and conservation of all antelope species.
Throughout forests, deserts, grasslands and mountainous environments, antelope play vital roles shaping ecosystems and as prey species for many of the world’s largest carnivores. Some antelope are secretive and little known, while others congregate in enormous migratory herds providing some of nature’s most spectacular sights. Conserving and restoring robust populations of antelope is therefore critical for retaining their ecological, economic and cultural values.
The new ASG Programme Office will work with the ASG Co-Chairs to update the conservation status of all 91 species of antelope for the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, and undertaking research to help identify global antelope conservation priorities. Dr David Mallon, Co-Chair of ASG said “we are delighted to have this practical and technical support from Marwell which will greatly increase ASG’s capacity to fulfil its mission to conserve the world’s antelopes”.
Creating the ASG Programme Office at Marwell is part of a broader collaborative strategy to enhance capacity of the ASG network and fly the flag for antelope conservation. This includes established support from the Fondation Internationale pour la Gestion de la Faune in Paris, and the White Oak Conservation Foundation in Florida.
Conservation Biologist Dr. Tania Gilbert adds the role of ASG Programme Officer to her portfolio supported by Robert Cooke, a graduate of the Marwell Wildlife / University of Southampton MRes Wildlife Conservation. The IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group is co-Chaired by Dr. David Mallon and Dr. Philippe Chardonnet.