A diurnal species, this gazelle requires more water than others adapted to its dry habitat, although it can survive long periods of draught. Like most desert species, the dama gazelle is highly nomadic, ranging widely in order to obtain sufficient nutrition. In addition, these gazelles undertake large seasonal migrations, moving north into the Sahara desert during the rainy season, and retreating south into the Sahel during the dry season. To maximize the amount of food available, these gazelles may stand on their hind legs in a manner reminiscent of the gerenuk in order to reach leaves above the normal browsing height. Adult males are believed to be territorial during the breeding season.
A distribution map was drawn on the basis of country maps in East (1988) and (1990) and Dr. R. East‘s personal suggestions (23 June ‘97). Fig. 8.6.13.a shows the current distribution of the species (formerly distributed from Morocco, Western Sahara, Mauritania and Senegal east to Egypt and Sudan), which now survives only in isolated populations in Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Niger, Sudan (East, 1996). It may also persist in Cameroon , Morocco ( Western Sahara ) and Nigeria . The species has recently been reintroduced in Senegal (East, 1996).
Categorical-discrete (CD) distribution model
Primarily found in semi-desert and desert vegetation, the species makes seasonal migrations between the Sahara and Sahel countries (East, 1988; East, 1990; Kingdon, 1997; Newby, 1984; Grettenberg & Newby, 1986).