Springbuck - Antidorcas marsupialis

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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 Springbok
Tswana Tshephe
R.W. Min 14" Max 19"
S.C.I Min 30" Max 50" Measurement Method 1

wpe1A.jpg (9701 bytes)

F 4cm
H 5cm


1.5 cm
Clusters of up to 5 cm.
Deposited in middens

Springbuck.tif (565044 bytes)Visible Male/Female Differences

Mature males are slightly bigger than females, their horns are distinctly thicker, and they have thicker necks. Females usually have one pair, occasionally two pairs, of nipples between their hind legs.

Habitat and Distribution

Arid and semi-desert scrub. A true desert antelope which is able to survive indefinitely without drinking.


Grazes in summer and browses more in winter and when veld is dry. Eats grasses, broad-leaved plants, bushes, seeds, pods, fruits and flowers, and digs for roots and bulbs. Springbuck can eat plants that are unpalatable and even toxic to other animals. Wild melons and cucumbers are eaten for their water content, and soil for minerals.


Single young are born at any time of year after a gestation of 24 weeks. Fawns begin to graze at two weeks and are weaned at two months. Females first mate (often with more than one male) as early as 7 months; males are sexually mature at 16 months. Lambs cannot match an adult's speed until they are a month old. For the first two days they lie tightly in the cover of bushes or grass clumps. Males do not secure territory and mate until at least 2-5 years old. Lifespan 10 years.

Behavior and Habits

Lives in mixed herds of about 10-50, and up to 200. Active at any time of the day and night. They grazes with the white rump towards the sun to minimizes heat absorption and the white under parts reflect heat from the ground. In summer they avoid midday heat by standing in shade and lies in the sun in cold weather. In the Kalahari they spend the night in the dunes where it is warmer. In the distant past springbok migrated in herds of tens or hundreds of thousands.  Adult males without territories form herds of up to 50. Rams remain on their territories even when the rest of the local springbuck have left in search of food and will only vacate them when forced by food shortage. Territories are marked with middens of dung and urine. To concentrate the pellets and the smell, the ram defecates in a low crouch (like the Gemsbuck) and urinates on the pellets standing stretched out to display the white and chestnut along the flanks. Territorial rams thrash bushes with their horns and horn up vegetation. Intruding males are chased away from females. Fights over territory and females are savage and may result in fatalities from horn wounds, broken necks and interlocking horns. Only territorial males breed. 

Springbucks' most distinctive and striking behaviour is "pronking", which includes a series of spectacular, stiff-legged jumps of up to 3m high with the head high or tucked down. The crest of white hair on the back flares open, producing a visual signal and releasing sweet honey-like scent from glands at the roots of the hair. Sudden alarms cause herds to scatter by jumping or sprinting away. Top speed is 88 km/h.


The alarm call is a whistling snort. Males utter loud snorts in mating season, females and lambs make a short "ur" sound as recognition call

Dung and Field sign

Dung middens in territories. Dung pellets are 1 - 1 5 cm long with short, sharp points, sometimes squashed and stuck together.


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