Visible Male/Female Differences
All the tufts, fringes and manes are better developed in mature bulls. Males have
longer, thicker horns than females.
Habitat and Distribution
Open grassland where water is available. Areas of short grass feeding and good
visibility are preferred.
An unselective grazer. Preference for short grass.
Single calves weighing 14 kg are born after a gestation of 253 days. Calves can follow their mothers
soon after birth and begin grazing before a month old. Weaned at about six months.
Females first mate at 16 months and have their first calf at 2 years. Males are sexually mature at 16
months and first mate at 3 years.
Behavior and Habits
Active in the day, especially early morning and late afternoon,They
rests in the middle of the day in
open areas. Males spend longer feeding than females and bachelor herds occupy
poor grazing areas. Three distinct types of social units exist:
- 1) female herds with
- 2) bachelor herds
- 3) territorial adult bulls
Bachelor herds move a lot but female herds remain in their home ranges.
Calves 2-3 months old group together
in crèches within the herds. Dominant bulls hold their territories throughout the
year and mark their areas
with scent from glands in front of the eyes and between the hooves well as with middens,
usually pawing the ground before defecating. Status is displayed with a stiff-legged trot.
When disturbed the herd snorts, kick their hind legs and
toss their heads in indignant display, resulting in the Black wildebeest being
called the clown of the savannah.
A loud, high-pitched "ge-nu" from which the species name is
derived, also a sharp 'hic' accompanied by an
upward jerk of the chin which gives the impression of constant hiccups.
Dung and Field sign
Droppings are dark pellets. sometimes in clusters. Middens and bare, trampled patches