The Arabian Oryx (Oryx leucoryx) is the only native oryx species outside Africa. It is one of two oryx species that went extinct in the wild (the other being the Scimitar-horned Oryx, Oryx dammah). Both sexes have long, slender horns pointed upward and slightly back that are narrower at the base than those of other oryx species. Although this species was extinct in the wild by 1972, since then free-ranging populations have been established in Israel, Oman, and Saudi Arabia. Arabian Oryx were formerly present throughout the Arabian Peninsula, extending north to Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Iraq, Syria, and Sinai. Poaching and overhunting in Oman eliminated the last wild individuals. Fortunately, captive breeding efforts had begun in the 1950s and reintroduction efforts began in the early 1980s and are ongoing. The world captive population is around 6,000 to 7,000, but the re-introduced free-ranging populations include only around 250 mature individuals.
(Kingdon 1997; Groves 2011)
- Groves, C.P. 2011. Genus Oryx. Pp. 688-692 in: Wilson, D.E. and Mittermeier, R.A., eds. Handbook of the Mammals of the World. Volume 2. Hoofed Mammals. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.
- Kingdon, J. 1997. The Kingdon Field Guide to African Mammals. Academic Press, San Diego.