(Addax nasomaculatus)




Facts about this animal

Addax were once common to the deserts of North Africa inhabiting the large sand dune systems to hard packed desert terrain. Before they were extirpated from most of their original range, they lived in family groups of up to 15 animals.
Addax are primarily grazers, feeding upon perennial grasses, but will browse on the tender young shoots of shrubs and trees. They can go for long periods of time without drinking water, deriving their moisture requirement from the plants they eat.


Adapted to their arid habitat, they have a white, reflective coat that turns dark grey-brown in the winter.


The gestation period is between 242-270 days. At birth, calves weigh between 5-6 kg and are quickly capable of walking. Both male and female calves are born with horns formed primarily as scutes. The horn length of the adult animals is quoted 55-80 cm for females and 60-109 cm for bucks. The horns have 1,5 to 3 convolutions

Did you know?
that addax can go for months without open water, and can even go without water for years by just eating plants and the moisture they contain? Their nasal passage acts as an evaporative cooler, cooling the arterial blood as it flows through the nasal membrane before reaching the brain, thus protecting the brain from overheating. Addax can also let their body temperature rise during the day and reduce it during the cool the night without water loss.


Name (Scientific) Addax nasomaculatus
Name (English) Addax
Name (French) Addax
Name (German) Mendesantilope
Name (Spanish) Addax
Local names Agas, addas (Arabic)
CITES Status Appendix I
CMS Status Appendix I Sahelo-Saharan Antelope Action Plan



Photo Copyright by
Tim Vickers



Range Former Range: Northern Africa; endemic to the Sahelo-Saharan Region west of the Nile Valley. Current Range: A few sparsely inhabited areas of Niger and Tchad. Reintroduced back to Tunisia and Morocco.
Habitat Sand to stony desert habitats; the most desert adapted of the antelopes.
Wild population Less than 3000 (Red List IUCN 2011)
Zoo population International Studbook (WAZA) established in 1989 and is by Terrie Correll at The Living Desert. European Studbook first edited 1992 and is held by Heiner Engel at Hannover Zoo. Australian Studbook is held by Kylie Lihou at Werribee Open Range Zoo. Japanese Studbook is held by Kazuo Okuda at the Himeji Central Park Zoo. Regional zoo programmes: ASMP (ARAZPA), EEP (EAZA) and SSP (AZA).

In the Zoo



How this animal should be transported

For air transport, Container Note 73 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.


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Why do zoos keep this animal

Zoos usually keep addax in large natural looking enclosures. Their white coat and large, corkscrew shaped horns are impressive to visitors. Addax are one of the rarest and most endangered mammalian species. Zoos maintain addax in breeding programmes to raise awareness of their plight and for ongoing reintroduction and protection projects in the wild.