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(heifer, young cow)
Medium-sized antelope with copper brown fur and black spiral horns
85-100 cm (34-40 in)
65-80 kg (143-176 lbs)
55-70 kg (121-154 lbs)
Grazers; eating grass in sparse wooded areas
7.5-8 months; one young per birth; mating occurs between April and June, with the subsequent calves being born from November to February. Mothers do not leave the herd to give birth.
Up to 17 years
Highveld, or higher elevation grasslands
Lower Risk/Conservation Dependent
Subspecies not listed
Subspecies, bontebok is Endangered
The common name is a derivative of the Afrikaans words for blazed antelope, which is in reference to the white blaze found on their face.
Smaller relatives of the wildebeest, Blesbok populations have rebounded after being hunted to near extinction during the European colonization of southern Africa.
They graze on medium to tall grasses and migrate to follow the rains. Females give birth to usually a single calf early in the summer.
Blesbok calves differ from most other small or medium antelope species by staying with their mothers instead of hiding.
ECOLOGY AND CONSERVATION
By eating grasses, Blesbok keep the grasslands trim, spawning new growth. They are food for larger predators. Their numbers suffer due to habitat loss and pelt trade. In addition, encroachment and competition with domestic livestock are a constant threat.
The Safari Companion: A Guide to Watching African Mammals
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Mammals-Their Latin Names Explained
. Poole, U.K.: Blandford Press Btd. 1979.
Nowak, Ronald M.
Walker's Mammals of the World Fifth Ed.. Vol. II
. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. 1991.
Parker, Sybil P. ed.
Grzimeks Encyclopedia: Mammals. Vol. 5
. New York: McGraw-Hill Publishing Co. 1990.