Bushbuck (Tragelaphus scriptus)


Species - Harnessed, Nile, Abyssinian, Menelik, East African, Chobe, Limpopo and Cape Bushbuck. As recognized by Safari Club International and Rowland Ward.

Characteristics - The bushbuck is a small to medium antelope which relies on vegetation for cover. The bushbuck has very powerful hindquarters.

Weight and Height -
males: 88-176 lb (40-80 kg), ht 28-40 in (70-100 cm)
females: wt 55-132 lb (25-60 kg), ht 26-34 in (65-85 cm)

Horns - Nearly straight with one twist close to the bottom. Mature males horns will measure 10 to 22 in (26-57 cm) long following the spiral curve of the horn. Cape Bushbuck are smaller and average 8.5 inch horns with 20.5 inches being the world record.

Color - The color varies depending on geographic location. Eastern and southern bushbucks are a yellow color with relatively few markings. Northern and western bushbucks are reddish colored with stripes and spots. Some species will be dark brown to black. Females resemble Nyala females and have the white vertical stripes. Both sexes tend to darken with age.

General Locations - Bushbucks can be found in most of sub-Saharan Africa, especially in areas where it can easily be concealed. They will live anywhere from sea level to mountaintops at 10,000 ft (3000 m). All types of habitats from rainforest to subdesert terrain are appealing to the bushbuck. One of the places where bushbucks are most common is Queen Elizabeth NP.

Activity - The bushbuck is primarily nocturnal, but it is also fairly active during the day. In Queen Elizabeth NP, the ranges average 51 acres (19.6 ha) because there are separate day and night ranges. 50% of the day is spent standing and grazing, 38% feeding and 12% moving about. Around dusk bushbucks move toward their night range where they feed for almost 25% of the time. Before dawn, however, all bushbucks move back to their day range.

Social System - The bushbuck is the only non-territorial and solitary African antelope. Neither the males nor the females defend any part of their home range, which means that many home ranges overlap. In Queen Elizabeth NP, the density of bushbuck was found to be 67 bushbuck/sq mi (26/sq km). In some small areas, each female had 1/3 acre and each male 1.25 acre (0.5 ha).

Reproduction - The gestation period for the bushbuck is 6 to 7 months. This means that females are able to reproduce twice a year in some areas. Both sexes reach puberty at 11 months, which means that they are able to mate any time after that point. The birth peak is generally during the rainy season in dry regions, but in high-rainfall areas there are not really any peaks.

Predators - Hyena, Lion, Leopard and all larger carnivores.