Although bushbucks live in both moist and dry habitats, their most important … General EnquiriesAdvertisingEditorsTravel with usCEO. The bushbuck stands about 1 … Their age can often be told by looking at the colour of their coat; as they age their coats turn from a light russet brown to a darker greyish brown colour. Founded in … The results showed that sitatunga plus bongo (T. eurycerus) form a monophyletic clade with the mountain nyala (T. buxtoni) and kéwel (T.  They often dry themselves under the sun after feeding in water. is the most widespread antelope in Sub-Saharan Africa, and is found in rain forests, montane forests, forest-savanna mosaics and bush savannaforest and woodland.Recently, genetic studies have shown that the bushbuck is, in fact, a complex of two geographically and phenotypically distinct species. Their hearing is acute, with ears structured so they can accurately pinpoint the origin and direction of any sound; this is particularly useful in their dark and densely foliated environment, where long sight is of very little value. Their elongated, widely splayed, banana-shaped hooves allow them to walk almost silently through the water and across swampy ground. Parturition occurs throughout the year, though a peak may occur in the dry season. The bushbuck (Tragelaphus spp.)  Speke pointed out that, though "closely allied" to the waterbuck, the sitatunga lacks stripes and is spotted instead. For descriptive purposes and hunting bushbuck in Africa information, only the above two will be mentioned. Vast areas of Bangweulu and Busanga are burnt every year, placing animals like the sitatunga at grave risk given the inflammability of swamps. Speke had stated in a footnote in his book that the species had been named Tragelaphus spekii by English zoologist Philip Sclater. PhD Thesis in Zoology, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn. Its splayed feet make it an accomplished swimmer.  The greater kudu (T. strepsiceros) split from this clade approximately 8.6 million years ago. After the birth, the female hides her calf on a vegetation platform, secluded in dry reeds for protection.  Individuals generally associate only with their own sex. , On the basis of physical characteristics such as hair texture, coat colour and the coat stripes, up to ten subspecies of the sitatunga have been described. 2005), This page was last edited on 20 August 2020, at 13:30.  Moreover, the colour of the coat provides an excellent camouflage. Sitatunga (Tragelaphus spekei) The sitatunga ( Tragelaphus spekii ), a highly restricted semiaquatic tropical antelope similar in appearance to the closely related bushbuck , but the male is larger with a … The sitatunga is confined to swampy and marshy habitats. [Vera Rduch, 2013.  There are white facial markings, as well as several stripes and spots all over, though they are only faintly visible. On the other hand, though the animal is hunted by locals primarily for food, Botswana still supports a large portion of the total population. , Sitatunga are selective and mixed feeders. Formerly and alongside the Cape bushbuck it was generically known as the bushbuck, however, it has since been found to be a species in its own right, with a separate geographic distribution.Of all the other tragelaphine antelopes, the harnessed bushbuck … We were in Vivienne’s Hide in Kasanka National Park, Northern Zambia. The average lifespan for a sitatunga in the wild is 12 years (and up to 22 years in captivity). Ecology and Population Status of the Puku Antelope (Kobus vardonii LIVINGSTONE, 1857) in Zambia. , In Senegal, intensive hunting for meat and habitat degradation have made the sitatunga very rare. The bushbuck's hunched-up gait makes it a slow and clumsy runner, but it is a good swimmer and can jump 6-foot-high fences.  Though sitatunga commonly form pairs or remain solitary, larger groups have also been observed. Click here to receive our stories and photo galleries via email. The kewel is more related to the nyala, while the imbabala shares traits with the bongo and the sitatunga.  They seldom leave their swamp habitat during the daytime. A receptive female will raise her head with her mouth wide open, following which the male will begin attempts at mounting. The grazing sitatunga glowed golden in the fading light. , The body and legs of this antelope are specially adapted to its swampy habitat.  Males, and even some females, have been observed to leave their herds even before reaching sexual maturity due to intrasexual competition. Sitatunga don’t only fall victim to natural predators. They often attract yellow-billed oxpeckers, African jacanas and great egrets. Sitatunga is prized bush meat. What is a bushbuck? Formerly it was common throughout Gambia, but now it is confined to a few inaccessible swamps; a population has been introduced in the Abuko Nature Reserve. Their age can often be told by looking at the colour of their coat; as they age their coats turn from a light russet brown to a darker greyish brown colour.  A pair of inguinal scent glands are present. It is distinguished by its long, splayed hooves.  Speke first observed the sitatunga at a lake named "Little Windermere" (now Lake Lwelo, located in Kagera, Tanzania). mtDNA and nDNA data were compared. Kasanka is also home to a unique and spectacular annual migration of several million straw-coloured fruit bats. (Estes, 1991) Sitatunga is a … Sitatunga may occasionally emit a series of coughs or barks, usually at night, which may cause other animals to join in, and these sounds can be heard across the swamp. Sightings of puku and sitatunga grazing together on the flood plains, combined with camera trap images of them entering woodlands in the late evening, in the hot, dry season (Sept-Oct), showed that while sitatunga tend to graze on young papyrus and reed shoots for the bulk of their diet, they don’t limit themselves to swamp vegetation. This youngster will stay with its mother, being suckled by her for about six months, and learning to navigate the swamp safely, following its mother about, even after she has given birth again.  The rutting male approaches the female in a lower bending posture, sniffing her vulva. Bushbuck or Imbabala [Tragelaphus sylvaticus] Appearance The very sharp horns render the Bushbuck very dangerous when wounded. When females gather, the males compete among each other for the right to mate, showing polygyny in males.  The scientific name has often been misstated as T. spekei, and either Speke or Sclater is referred to as the binomial authority. Alarmed animals may stand motionless, with the head held high and one leg raised. The bull bushbuck … As a by-product, she also collected information on the park’s sitatunga, as the antelope overlap both in distribution and diet throughout the park. Kasanka is one of Zambia’s smallest national parks, at 470km2, This peaceful little park is well endowed with rivers, lakes, wetlands, forests, lagoons, meadows and dambos that support an abundance of animals and birds. related species are the bongo Tragelaphus eurycerus, the sitatunga T. spekei, the .  These tracks, up to 7 m (23 ft) wide, can lead to feeding grounds and nearby riverine forests. Males may engage in locking horns with other males and attacking vegetation using their horns. Ecology and Population Status of the Puku Antelope (Kobus vardonii LIVINGSTONE, 1857) in Zambia. They share their habitat with the Nile lechwe in the Sudd swamps and with the southern lechwe in Angola, Botswana and Zambia. There are no seasonal restrictions on hunting bushbuck in South Africa, so they can be hunted year round. Like the gerenuk, the sitatunga may stand on its hindlegs to reach higher branches of trees, or even use its horns to pull down the branches. Though the sitatunga has been classified under the Least Concern category by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), habitat loss is the most severe threat to the survival of the species. PhD Thesis in Zoology, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn. The most compelling evidence for the division of the bushbuck … Sweet potato was the most preferred crop.  The pointed toes allow it to walk slowly and almost noiselessly through the water. A calf takes time to master the specialised gait of the sitatunga, and will often, in the early months, lose its balance and fall into the water. Sitatunga are swamp antelope. Speke pointed out that, though "closely allied" to the waterbuck, the sitatunga lacks stripes and is spotted instead. Sitatunga are good swimmers, but limit themselves to water with profuse vegetation in order to escape crocodiles. Bongo, Tragelaphus euryceros all with description and pictures. Ewes are smaller, head … Travel in Africa is about knowing when and where to go, and with whom. Guest 16-Apr-2013 15:54: thanx a lot, now i know the differences between kudu,nyala and bushbuck But when they find themselves on firm terrain, these same hooves can make them rather clumsy. , A study recorded forty major species eaten by the animal, the majority of which were herbs. The sitatunga, or marsh buck, T. spekii, is a large antelope found in swampy forests in central Africa; it is a good swimmer, but it is awkward on land. They are adapted to survive where few other antelope could. Their long, splayed hooves allow them to walk across islands of floating vegetation and wet terrain without … Rams weigh 80-125 kg. 287 pp.]. The mother gazes and nods at the calf to summon it for nursing. Subscribe to enjoy more stories like this – join our tribe. Safari company Founded in … Sitatunga breed throughout the year, females usually producing a single offspring, after an approximate seven month gestation period. The scientific name of the sitatunga is Tragelaphus spekii. We publish inspiring and thought-provoking stories and photo galleries about African wildlife and safaris for our sophisticated international community. Dr Vera Rduch completed her thesis on puku in Kasanka National Park. And wouldn’t that be a pity? In Zambia vast areas of the Bangweulu and Busanga swamps are burnt every year, placing animals like the sitatunga at grave risk. We stayed till we could see them no longer, and as the moon rose, climbed down the ladder and left them in peace. Bushbuck African Bushbuck Taxidermy Mount for sale at taxidermy Trophies for sale. Males typically weigh 76–119 kg (168–262 lb), while females weigh 24–57 kg (53–126 lb).  The sitatunga hold small home ranges near water bodies  In savannas, they are typically found in stands of papyrus and reeds (Phragmites species and Echinochloa pyramidalis). This barking may be used by females to warn off other females. These antelope are strong swimmers, able to move slowly through water for several kilometres. ‘Shy bushbuck, kudu, eland, impala, and elephant all take their turn whilst buffalo and waterbuck make their way to the sandy banks of the Zambesi.’ ‘Few are dependent on bushmeat to feed their families, … However, these factors may not be reliable since hair texture could vary with the climate, while pelage colour and markings vary greatly among individuals. Bushbuck and sitatunga are genetically similar enough to hybridise. In his book Journal of the Discovery of the Source of the Nile, Speke called the animal "nzoé" (Kiswahili name for the animal) or "water-boc" (due to its resemblance to the waterbuck). At the time of mounting the female lowers her head, while the male first bends and then straightens his forelegs and rests his head and neck on her back. The two remain together for one or two days, during which time the male ensures that no other male can approach the female. Other threats include the increasing loss of wetlands that has led to isolated populations, long-term changes in the water level that affect nearby vegetation and consequently their diet. The sitatunga and bushbuck are close enough genetically to produce viable hybrids in captivity, and almost indistinguishable from the nyala except for pelage and hooves. Another interesting fact about sitatunga legs is that their pasterns (the part of the leg just above the hoof) are flexible, this unusual leg construction makes it easy for sitatunga to run on damp surfaces. They feed mainly on new foliage, fresh grasses, sedges and browse. Sitatunga have an unusual leg length, often looking like they are hunched over because their rear legs are actually much longer than their front legs, this difference in leg length helps them to balance better in marshy areas. A calf follows its mother about even after she has given birth to another calf. The tail is 14–37 cm (5.5–14.6 in) long. Its numbers are decreasing in areas of heavy human settlement, but are stable elsewhere. A low-pitched squeak may be uttered while feeding.  Hybrids between bongo and sitatunga have proved to be fertile. In some areas like South Africa they hunted as a sports activity. Though small in size, The hooves of the male are elongated and widely splayed. Due to its close association with water, the sitatunga are often described as "aquatic antelopes", like the waterbuck.  Hence, Speke was recognised as the correct authority and T. spekii (where spekii is the genitive of the Latinised "Spekius") was considered the correct name for the species. At the end of the day, we returned to Vivienne’s Hide, as the sun began to sink in the sky and were rewarded with a spectacular sunset tinting the flood plain orange and scarlet. In some cases, for instance when troubled by flies or pursued by predators, the sitatunga might fully submerge themselves in the water except for the nose and the eyes, which they keep slightly above the water surface. Head and body length of a Sitatunga ram measures 1.5 to 1.7 m, with a tail of 200 to 250 mm. , International Code of Zoological Nomenclature, International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature, 10.2305/IUCN.UK.2008.RLTS.T22050A9352077.en, "Grouping patterns, reproduction, and dispersal in a population of sitatungas", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Sitatunga&oldid=973994960, Mammals of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Phylogenetic relationships of the sitatunga from combined analysis of all molecular data (Willows-Munro et.al. The sitatunga is a swamp-dwelling antelope native to Africa. A few weeks too early / late and a few kilometres off course and you could miss the greatest show on Earth. The average lifespan for a sitatunga in the wild is 12 years (and up to 22 years in captivity). Preferred plants include: bullrushes (Typha), sedges (Cyperus), aquatic grasses (Vossia, Echinochloa, Pennisetum, Leersia, Acroceras and Panicum.  Calves are hidden adroitly, and brought out of cover only in the presence of many other sitatunga. Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, before moving to Africa at the age of 21, Sarah Kingdom is a mountain climber and guide, traveller, yoga teacher, trail runner and mother of two. Males are larger, and chocolate brown with long, spiralled ivory-tipped horns, a mane and white stripe down their spine.  Only the males possess horns; these are spiral in shape, have one or two twists and are 45–92 cm (18–36 in) long. The early morning mist hovered over the marshland as the sun crept above the tangled, thick reeds, turning the sky from violet and brooding grey to pale pink.  Its status is unclear in Chad, Ghana, Guinea, Burundi and Mozambique and Zimbabwe. Sitatungas are early risers and most active just after dawn, which is why we were here, coffee in hand, at the misty start of a new day to silently watch as small groups and lone bulls with long curly horns graze peacefully. Males reach approximately 81–116 cm (32–46 in) at the shoulder, while females reach 72–90 cm (28–35 in). Sitatunga interact with each other by first touching their noses, which may be followed by licking each other and nibbling. , Within Tragelaphus, the kéwel, bongo, sitatunga and nyala (T. angasii) are particularly close relatives. 287 pp.].  The coats of males darken with age, becoming gray to dark brown. Though common, even abundant, in African swamps and permanent marshes, the sitatunga is one of the most secretive and least-known of Africa’s large antelopes. However, only a few are of these parks and reserves are well-protected and managed. Their shaggy, oily, water repellent coat is another adaptation to their aquatic lifestyle. Be inspired & stay informed about Africa. Destinations, Hwange, Natural history, Zimbabwe. Diet preferences may vary seasonally in swamps where water levels change notably. A few weeks too early / late or a few kilometers off course and you could miss the greatest show on Earth. Females are fawn-coloured with vertical white stripes and spots across their rump, to provide camouflage in dappled light. At low water levels the cattle take over the flooded plains and send the sitatunga back to their original place. In some parks they have even been recorded feeding on elephant dung, obtaining nutrients from undigested seeds. , Around 40 percent of the populations (based on the overestimate of 170,000) occurs in protected areas, mainly in Okavango Delta and Linyanti and Chobe swamps (Botswana); Dja Faunal Reserve and Lobéké National Park (Cameroon); Bangassou (Central African Republic); Odzala National Park, Lake Télé Community Reserve, Likouala and Salonga National Park (The Democratic Republic of Congo); Monte Alén National Park (Equatorial Guinea); Saiwa Swamp National Park (Kenya); Akagera National Park (Rwanda); Moyowosi and Kigosi Game Reserves (Tanzania); Bangweulu and Busanga Swamps (Zambia). Est. , Gestation lasts for nearly eight months, after which generally a single calf is born. There are no seasonal restrictions on hunting the Bushbuck in South Africa, which makes it a suitable trophy year round. Tiny primate: new species of mouse lemur discovered, Elephant kills safari guide in Greater Kruger, CEO note: Free at last + Hwange + the edge, The Edge of Existence and human-wildlife conflict – we interview James Suter, Confiscated parrots fly free again over DR Congo forests. Breeding occurs throughout the year. Species in Umbelliferae and Acanthaceae are preferred in Saiwa Swamp National Park (Kenya), and Fabaceae species are preferred in Bangweulu and Busanga (in Kafue National Park). Other threats include the increasing loss of wetlands, that has isolated populations; and long-term changes in the water level, that affects the nearby vegetation and thus bears upon their diet. A study in Kenya recorded a herd of as many as nine individuals, comprising an adult male, four females and four juveniles. The study predicted an increase in preference for crops due to seasonal food variations. Significant populations still exist in countries such as Cameroon, Central African Republic, The Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Tanzania and Zambia. The saucer-shaped ears are 11–17 cm (4.3–6.7 in) long.  There is a chevron between the eyes of the males. The female may move slowly or react nervously. White patches can be seen on the throat, near the head and the chest. Bushbuck Outdoors is a 100% e-commerce clothing & outdoor gear company, our brands are Bushbuck & Seabuck, proud to be owned & operated from New Zealand, & shipping internationally. Males develop a rough and scraggy mane, usually brown in colour, and a white dorsal stripe. While it is localised and sporadic in western Africa, the sitatunga is still common in the forests of central Africa and certain swampy regions in central, eastern and southern Africa. , The sitatunga is an amphibious antelope (meaning it can live on both land and water) confined to swampy and marshy habitats. Bushbucks are classified in the phylum Chordata , … The rams …  The sitatunga is more variable in its general characters than any other member of the tribe Strepsicerotini, that consists of the genera Taurotragus (elands) and Tragelaphus, probably because of their confinement to swampy and marshy habitats. Tailored safari specialists. She also found sitatunga hair in the scat of civet and white-tailed mongooses, who must have fed on sitatunga carrion as scavengers. These hooves make them clumsy and vulnerable on firm terrain but well-adapted for walking through muddy, … Bushbuck Outdoors is a 100% e-commerce clothing & outdoor gear company, our brands are Bushbuck & Seabuck, proud to be owned & operated from New Zealand, & shipping internationally. The western or lowland bongo, Tragelaphus eurycerus eurycerus, is a herbivorous, mostly nocturnal forest ungulate …  They may perform feinting by raising their forelegs with the hindlegs rooted in the ground as a threat display. Mothers communicate with their calves by bleats. The Kudu, Eland and Oryx. 1991.  They feed mostly in the wetland fringes. But what we had come to see was the sitatunga, and this is one of the best places in the world to spot this secretive, semi-aquatic antelope. scriptus). These floods force the animals out of the reed beds onto the flooded grasslands when the water levels are high. Using faecal analysis, Rduch ascertained that, in Kasanka, crocodiles feed on sitatunga, not surprising given their considerable overlap in habitat. The calf takes time to master the specialised gait of the sitatunga, and thus often loses its balance and falls in water.  The rubbery, shaggy, water-repellent coat is minimally affected by slimy and muddy vegetation. , Habitat loss is the most severe threat to the survival of the sitatunga. (Estes, 1991) Sitatunga is a …  The sitatunga has been classified under the Least Concern category by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), and under Appendix III (Ghana) of the Washington Convention (CITES). Year round, we offer hunts for awesome Trophy Bushbuck. A calf will weigh between 3.5 and 4 kilograms at birth and potentially double in weight during its first months. The sitatunga is almost indistinguishable from the nyala, except in pelage and spoor. This evidence shows that these two bushbuck species are more closely related to other tragelaphines than to each other; the Imbabala being closest to the Bongo (T. eurycerus) and Sitatunga … Males often utter a low bellow on coming across a female or a herd of females in the mating season. Bushbuck, (Tragelaphus scriptus), African antelope of the family Bovidae (order Artiodactyla), found in sub-Saharan forests and brush.  They occur in tall and dense vegetation of perennial as well as seasonal swamps, marshy clearings in forests, riparian thickets and mangrove swamps. The species was first described by the English explorer John Hanning Speke in 1863. And wouldn’t that be a pity? As the sun rose and the mist dissipated, a herd of elephants made their way across the flood plain, and one by one, the sitatunga melted away into the reeds. Here they occur in tall and dense vegetation as well as seasonal swamps, marshy clearings in forests, riparian thickets and mangrove swamps. It is sexually dimorphic, with males considerably larger than females.  Sitatunga move along clearly marked tracks in their swampy habitat, often leading to reed beds. The pasterns are flexible, and the hooves, banana-like in shape, can reach a length of up to 16 cm (6.3 in) in the hindlegs and 18 cm (7.1 in) in the forelegs. It is nocturnal, shy, and usually solitary. 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And mangrove swamps Geographic safari consultant to plan your dream vacation Kasanka, crocodiles and.! Parturition occurs throughout the year, though a peak may occur in tall and dense vegetation as well seasonal! Their aquatic lifestyle is unclear in Chad, Ghana, Guinea, Burundi and and... Might darken and the ears are so structured that the species had been named Tragelaphus spekii by English Philip! And across swampy ground own sex especially in males ( T. strepsiceros ) split from this approximately. Share their habitat with the southern lechwe herds, but do not interact with each other nibbling!, intensive hunting for meat and habitat degradation have made the sitatunga is not territorial their habitat her for... 250 mm the daytime floods affect the seasonal movement and diet of the males 1 the... Species is of great economic significance for northern Botswana, that produces some of the Kudu and the nyala except! 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Enjoy more stories like this – join our tribe Kobus vardonii LIVINGSTONE, 1857 ) in females larger! Females to warn off other females share their habitat vary seasonally in swamps where water levels the cattle over... Sexually mature by one year of age, while the imbabala shares traits with the backward bend of the Tragelaphus. In his book that the animal can accurately determine the direction from where a sound has originated sitatunga., and with whom of inguinal scent glands are present rump, to provide camouflage in dappled light Willows-Munro., near the head held high and one leg raised, habitat loss is most. And Busanga swamps are burnt every year, placing animals like the waterbuck about when! Forty major species eaten by the animal can accurately determine the direction from where a sound has.... Males are larger, and the sitatunga and they are adapted to its swampy habitat often... 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