Blackbuck

The only species in its genus, the blackbuck is one of the few antelope in which the coloration of male and female is dissimilar. The dominant male in the herd is dark, almost black on back and sides and has long, spirally twisted horns; the female is yellowish-fawn and lacks horns. Subordinate males have smaller horns and retain female coloration. They only darken and develop large horns if they assume the dominant position in a herd, following the death of the leading male.

Blackbucks feed largely on grass and are active morning and evening, resting in the heat of the day. The female is unusually alert, and it is she who first gives warning of danger. When alarmed blackbucks flee with leaps and bounds that soon settle into a swift gallop.

Blackbucks are normally found in herds of 15 to 50 — smaller groups consisting of a dominant male with females and young; as males mature, they are driven out and form their own small parties. The breeding male sets up a territory and defends it and his harem against rivals. One young, sometimes 2, is born after a gestation period of 6 months.

Range: India, Nepal, Pakistan.

Habitat: Open grassy plains.

Size: Body: 4 ft (1.2 m); Tail: 7 in (1 8 cm).

Gallery of Blackbuck