Palestine mountain gazelle officially an endangered species
The Palestine mountain gazelle, one of the region's most recognised animals, should be added to the list of endangered animals, Britain's The Guardian has reported.
The number of gazelles, which live in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, has declined dramatically over the past decade and a half.
There are now only about 2,000 animals remaining.
Experts fear the animals may become extinct, as their closest relatives who lived in Syria and Egypt are believed to be.
David Mallon, a British zoologist and antelope expert on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's "red list" - which is assessing the conservation status of all mammals, told The Guardian that the IUCN had changed the gazelle's status from "vulnerable" to "endangered".
A drop in the number of gazelles across the southern Levant and Arabian peninsula has been a concern for a long time. It largely has been caused by a loss of habitat to construction, predation and collision with cars.
The Israel Nature and Parks Authority said that the population in Israel had declined from more than 10,000 in recent years to just 3,000 in 2008.