Mountain Reedbuck

A small-sized, graceful and shy antelope. Rams attain a mass of about 55 pounds and measures 750mm at shoulder. Ewes are smaller at 45 pounds. Fur is predominantly grey, but the head and shoulders are a reddish-brown. It has a fluffy white tail and striking white underparts. Forward curved horns are only found on rams. This species has long narrow ears. Horns average 6 inches with 9 being the record. Only rams bare horns.

The Mountain Reedbuck is a grazer and needs an adequate supply of fresh water.

Ewes give birth to single lambs mainly during summer, after a gestation period of eight months. Young reach adult body size at two years. Young ewes become sexually active as early as 15 months.

When it runs with its characteristic rocking gait, with tail up, it shows the white underside. They occur in small herds of three to eight individuals, though up to 30 has been seen together. The larger groups seem to be temporary as they will disperse into smaller units when disturbed. Young rams are forced out of herds to form bachelor groups until sexual maturity and readiness to challenge the right to mating opportunities of territorial rams. Usually there is only one adult ram in a family group.

Their natural habitat is, as their name suggests, mountainous terrain and they can be seen on mountain slopes feeding or resting in the shade and camouflage of the thick bush.

Distribution is restricted to the mountain slopes of the Gauteng, the Drakensberg, as well as the Karoo koppies along the upper Orange River. Quite common in a suitable habitat.