Compared to other continents, Africa has survived an extinction wave of its megafuna so far: in savannas and rainforests you can still find all kinds of large animals, from zebras to antelope to elephants. South African blue buck only (Hippotragus leucophase) In recent times as a victim of hunting and habitat destruction, large animals completely disappeared. Only a few specimens of antelope have survived in museums, and fewer of them were previously eclipsed. As a study by Elizabeth Hempel of the Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin and her team in the “Scientific Reports” show.
Until investigation by Hempel and CO, curators assumed 16 museum specimens, some of which were already controversial. Ten of these animals have now been genetically investigated by the group. The result is somewhat disastrous: only four items were actually blue goats, the remaining six being of another species. Also, there is not a single associated skull below. This makes the blue goat one of the rare historical mammal species in museums, writes the Berlin Museum in a statement. There are even more specimens in Stellar’s Manet’s Zoological Collections with about 90 objects or clega, from South Africa, a subspecies of the Plains zebra with 34 objects. Both also died in the 18th and 19th centuries.
The last bluebuck was shot in 1799 or 1800, almost 35 years after the first scientific description. Its decline began even before colonization by Europeans: the genetic diversity of existing animals is very low, which speaks for a very small population. In addition to hunting and loss of habitat, possible causes are also a hindrance to hiking routes.