Greater Kudu

Greater Kudu

Mammalia

SCIENTIFIC CLASSIFICATION

COMMON NAME: greater kudu
KINGDOM: Animalia
PHYLUM: Chordata
CLASS: Mammalia
ORDER: Artiodactyla
FAMILY: Bovidae
GENUS SPECIES: Tragelaphus (goat like deer) strepsiceros (twisted horns)

FAST FACTS

DESCRIPTION: The kudu is a large antelope with fawn coloring and thin, white, sparse vertical stripes. Greater kudu may be distinguished from similar species, lesser kudu (Tragelaphus imberbis), by presence of throat main.
MALE The male has long black twisted horns
FEMALE Females do not have horns
SIZE: Approximately 1.2-1.5 m (4-5 ft.)
WEIGHT:
MALE 225-357.7 kg (495-787 lb.)
FEMALE 180-235 kg (396-517 lb.)
DIET: Includes leaves, grass, roots, and sometimes fruits and tubers
GESTATION: Gestation lasts approximately 6-7 months; one offspring (but rarely two) at birth
SEXUAL MATURITY: 1-2 years
LIFE SPAN: Approximately 15 years in the wild
RANGE: Throughout Southern and Eastern Africa as far North as Ethiopia
HABITAT: Inhabits stony, sparsely to densely forested flat hilly and mountain country
POPULATION: GLOBAL Unknown
STATUS: IUCN Lower Risk/Conservation Dependent
CITES Not listed
USFWS Not listed

FUN FACTS

1. Kudus are one of the largest antelopes.
2. They produce one of the loudest sounds made by antelope in the form of a gruff bark.
3. Kudu horns have spirals, which allow males to spar by interlocking horns. The males then proceed to shove and twist until one opponent is knocked off balance and thrown down. Some reports show male kudus found with locked horns, even in death.

ECOLOGY AND CONSERVATION

Adult kudus are an important food source for many larger predators, such as lions and spotted hyenas. Many medium-sized carnivores prey upon kudu yearlings and calves. Newborns also serve as a food source for smaller predators.

Kudu are hunted for their horns; they are considered valuable trophies. They are also hunted for their meat as well as their reputation in some areas as pests because of occasional crop damage.

Along with these factors, kudu, largely woodland animals, suffer from habitat destruction.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Estes, R.D. The Safari Companion: A Guide to Watching African Mammals. Vermont: Chelsea Green Publishing Co., 1993.

Gotch, A.F. Mammals-Their Latin Names Explained. Poole, U.K.: Blandford Press Btd., 1979.

Nowak, R. (ed.). Walkers Mammals of the World. Vol. II, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991.

Parker, S.P, (ed.). Grizmek's Encyclopedia of Mammals. Vol 5. New York: McGraw Hill Pub. Co., 1990.