Roan - Hippotragus equinus

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Damara Dik-dik - Madoqua kirkii | Oribi - Ourebia ourebi | Suni - Neotragus moschatus | Grysbok - Raphicerus melanotis | Sharpe's Grysbok - Raphicerus sharpii | Klipspringer - Oreotragus oreotragus | Blue Duiker - Philancomba monticola | Red Duiker - Cepholophus natalensis | Common Duiker - Sylvicapra grimmia | Steenbok - Raphicerus campestris | Bushbuck - Trogelophus scriptus | Blesbok - Damaliscus dorcas phillipsi | Bontebok- Domaliscus dorcas dorcas | Reedbuck - Redunca arundinum | Mountain Reedbuck - Redunca fulvorufula | Grey Rheebuck- Pelea capreolus | Springbuck - Antidorcas marsupialis | Impala - Aepyceros melampus melampus | Blue Wildebeest - Connochaetes taurinus | Black Wildebeest - Connochaetes gnu | Tsessebe - Domaliscus lunatus | Gemsbuck - Oryx gazella | Red Hartebeest - Alcelaphus buselaphus | Lichtenstein's Hartebeest - Sigmoceros lichtensteinii | Sable- Hippotragus niger | Roan - Hippotragus equinus | Puku - Kobus vardonii | Waterbuck - Kobus ellipsiprymnus | Red Lechwe - Kobus leche | Nyala - Tragelaphus angasii | Sitatunga - Tragelaphus spekei | Kudu - Tragelaphus strepsiceros | Eland - Taurotragus oryx | Buffalo - Syncerus caffer


Afrikaans Bastergemsbok
Tswana Kunkuru Shona Ndunguza Shangaan Ndakadsi
R.W. Min 27" Max 39"
S.C.I Min 68" Max 81" Measurement Method 1

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F 11
H 10


2 cm
Tapered at one end, hollow at the other

Unusual features/differences from similar animals

Southern Africa's second largest antelope after the Eland

Visible Male/Female Differences

 Males are larger and more heavily built than females and the horns are longer and thicker. The penis sheath is clearly visible in the male. Females have two pairs of nipples between their hind legs.

Habitat and Distribution

Lightly wooded savanna with open areas of medium to tall grass as well as access to water.


A selective grazer preferring leaves but will browse when grazing is very poor. Their preferred feeding height is 15-150 cm and will crop green shoots to 2 cm.


Single calves are born at any time of year after a gestation 267-287 days. Calves are weaned at six months with an average calving interval of 317 days. Females first calve at 32-34 months. Lifespan is 10-12 years. Roan are killed five times more frequently than zebra and three times more frequently than wildebeest by lions in north-eastern Kruger National Park. The mortality rate of calves is high.

Behavior and Habits

Most active in the cool of the day and spends the hottest part of the day in the shade. Females and their young live in herds of up to about 12 adults. Their home ranges are about 60 sq km and they overlap. Like grandmothers, older cows are more dominant in the female hierarchy and they stand sentinel on the edges of the herd while the others feed.

Mature breeding bulls maintain a no-mans-land of 400m wide around their herd to easily spot impostors. Impostors are challenged by the dominant but with an intimidating pose with neck arched, chin tucked in, and ears out sideways. If this does not work, a serious fight for take-over of a herd my ensue. Fights are lengthy contests of horn hooking and wrestling, both adversaries going down onto their knees for maximum leverage. Normally the losing contestant runs away before serious injury is sustained. Adult bulls who do not associate with nursery herds do not form bachelor herds. Young males live in small bachelor herds after being expelled from nursery herds at about two years old. Both males and females thrash the ground and plants with their horns. Secretion from glands between the hooves of all four feet scent-marks their territory .


Normally silent but makes a hoarse snorting noise when alarmed

Field sign

Dung pellets are 2 cm long, tapered at one end, hollow at the other, similar in size to sable's, but roan do not leave scrape marks. Thrashed bushes.


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