Addax nasomaculatus

Common name



The adax lives in desert and semi-desert regions in Northwest Africa, between Chad and Mauritania.


Bovidae, Subfamily: hippotraginae






Ranges between 257-264 days

Number of offspring

A single calf, which will weigh 4.8 to 7 kg at birth.




It is a grazing animal, with a varied diet of Acacia shoots and leaves, as well as various shrubs and herbaceous plants.


It has a life expectancy of 11-13 in the wild, and can reach 19 years in captivity.

Biology and behavior

The Adax have a weight that ranges between 60-90 kg for females and 100-135 kg for males. Both sexes have spiral antlers, with males being thicker and longer. These antelopes are characterized by having short legs and wide hooves that allow them to move easily on the sand. On the other hand, its fur is light grayish and white, with a dark brown tuft on the forehead and on the face it displays a whitish “X” that covers the eyes.

With nomadic habits, it is the largest ungulate that enters desert areas in search of perennial grasses. This species has been recorded through sightings in grasslands, savannahs and deserts, making large migrations depending on the rains.
Less than a century ago, herds of this antelope exceeded 1000 individuals. Currently, groups of a maximum of 20 individuals are observed, and it is more common to find them forming groups of 2-8 individuals (including the offspring).

In reference to reproduction, females give birth to a single calf, which is born with an average weight of 5 kg. Newborn calves suck standing up, but when they reach 15 weeks they must kneel to access the breasts. Subsequently, they begin to eat grass after weaning, which happens between 23 and 29 weeks.

Its daily activity focuses on the twilight hours, both at dawn and dusk, but also during the first hours of the night. However, during the day, they try to rest under the shelter of the shade of the trees.


It is a species of which much of its ethology is unknown, mainly due to the small number of individuals, as well as their nomadic habits in the deserts. These ungulates can spend months without drinking water, only hydrating themselves through the vegetation they ingest. Their stomachs are adapted for slower fermentation than other ruminants, exceeding 42 hours. But, despite not needing to drink water, he will do so if given the opportunity. However, today it faces the threat of drought, as its ability to access water is limited.

Currently, it is estimated that there are fewer than 100 Adax individuals in the wild. Distributed in various subpopulations and regions, the number of this antelope is less than 90 adults of reproductive age. For all these reasons, this species presents a decreasing trend in the wild population.

Finally, it should be noted that, in the same way as in the Bioparc enclosure, the Adax tend to associate with groups of Dama Gazelles, in this case, we can observe them sharing habitat with the Mhorr Gazelle, the largest subspecies of Dama Gazelle. .

African savanna
Equatorial jungle
Madagascar Island