Unusual features/differences from similar
are sharp whereas they are more rounded in mountain
reedbuck. A dark band
runs down the front of each foreleg whereas the mountain reedbuck
has no band down the leg. At the base of each horn is a distinctive band of
whitish rubbery tissue. Horns are evenly curved forward whereas they are sharply hooked
at the tip in mountain reedbuck.
Visible Male/Female Differences
Only males bear horns and they are larger than females. Females have two pairs
of nipples between their hind legs.
Habitat and Distribution
Grassland near permanent water courses. Dependent on cover and free access to
water. Prefers burnt areas for feeding.
A grazer but will browse if the nutritional quality of the grass is too low.
Single young are born throughout the year after a gestation of 24 weeks. Females first give birth at 2-3
years. Females give birth in cover, and lambs lie hidden for two months;
mothers visit once a day and once or twice at night to suckle and clean them. Mother and
young rejoin the male after 3-4 months. Males mature at 9 months but do not mate
unless they hold territory. Average lifespan 4-5 years, maximum 10 years.
Behavior and Habits
Solitary or lives singly, in pairs or threes. They are most active at night
and only feeds in daylight if food is scarce, drinking water several times a
day. Reedbuck rest in
patches of bushes or tall grass trampled down to make a bed. They are territorial with
overlapping ranges and males are territorial only during the mating season. Occupation
of a territory is advertised by holding the neck erect and head high to show the white throat band,
by running with an exaggerated rocking motion, ritual
urination and defecation and loud whistling sounds. Fights are ritualised horn
clashing which may escalate and often result in death. Submission is signalled by lowering the head.
Runs a way at a gallop with occasional long jumps.
They utilise two styles
of stotting: 1) jerking the hind legs backwards and outwards, which produces a
popping sound or 2) jumping with the hind legs
tucked up, hindquarters high and head back, emitting a snort at each jump.
The alarm call is a loud high-pitched whistle through the nostrils, which may also tell the predator that it
has lost the element of surprise. Also produces a popping sound when jerking the hind legs backwards and
Dung and Field sign
Flattened beds of grass in patches of tall grass. Droppings are 1,5 cm long, tapered at
one end, blunt at the other.