Bushbuck

Bushbucks live across Central Africa south of the Sahara Desert to the north of the Kalahari Desert. They are not found in the rainforest of the Congo but live in most other open habitats that have enough cover. They are browsers, picking leaves and fruits from bushes rather than eating grasses. They spend the day hidden among the woodlands and thickets that grow along river banks, but by night they emerge into more open areas to feed.

Bushbucks give birth at all times of year, although in drier areas they tend to wait until the rainy season. In wetter areas, there is enough food available for females to give birth two times each year. Newborn calves cannot outrun predators and so their mothers keep them hidden in the bushes for up to four months. The young calves have no distinctive odour to attract hunters, and their mothers move them to new hiding places regularly.

Unusually for antelopes, bushbucks are solitary creatures. They do not defend a territory and rarely get into disputes. In places with plenty of food, there may be several individuals living close together, though there is little social interaction.

Distribution: Central Africa as far south as northern Botswana. Not found in the Congo Basin.

Habitat: Woodlands and shrublands.

Food: Leaves, twigs and flowers.

Size: 1.2 - 1.5 m (4 - 5 ft); 24 - 75 kg (53 - 165 lb).

Maturity: 1 - 3 years.

Breeding: Calves born all year round but most commonly during rainy season. The gestation period is about 180 days.

Life span: 20 years.

Status: Common.

Gallery of Bushbuck