Springbok

Kingdom
Phylum
Subphylum
Class
Order
Family
Subfamily
Tribe
Genus
SPECIES
Antidorcas marsupialis
Population size
2-2,5 m
Life Span
7-9 yrs
TOP SPEED
90 km/h
WEIGHT
30-48 kg
HEIGHT
72-75 cm
LENGTH
120-150 cm

A springbok is a small antelope, reddish brown with a pale underside. There is a dark brown stripe on each of their flanks that separates the color of their upperparts from their underside. They have a white head, with a dark brown stripe running from each eye to their upper lip. They have long, narrow, pointed ears. There is a pocket-like flap of skin that goes to their tail from a mid-point on their back. Both males and females have ringed curved, black horns.

Distibution

Springboks live in south and southwestern Africa, particularly in Namibia, Angola, Botswana and South Africa. They are mostly found in game reserves and on farms in treeless savanna near the edges of dried-up lake beds.

Springbok habitat map

Geography

Climate zones

Habits and Lifestyle

Springboks are mainly active at dawn and dusk, but may feed throughout the day during cold weather, or sometimes at night when it is very hot. During summer, springboks sleep under trees or bushes in the shade, although they will bed down out in the open when temperatures are cooler. During the mating season, males tend to wander together looking for a mate, while females live in a herd with their young and just a few dominant males. When excited or frightened, a springbok performs a number of vertical stiff-legged jumps up to 3.5m high, with the head down, hooves bunched and an arched back, called “pronking.” These leaps are supposed to distract predators like cheetahs and lions. Springboks used to form very large herds to migrate, with more than 1 million animals together. This was called a "trek" or "trekbokken".

Lifestyle

Diet and Nutrition

Springboks eat grasses and other vegetation. They eat different things depending on the season: grass when there is water, but plants that are more water rich, such as flowers, when there is not much water available.

Mating Habits

MATING BEHAVIOR
REPRODUCTION SEASON
During the dry season
PREGNANCY DURATION
5-6 months
BABY CARRYING
1 calf
INDEPENDENT AGE
6 months
BABY NAME
Calf

These animals are polygynous, one male mating with multiple females. During the mating period, males establish territories, marking them by urinating and creating large piles of dung. There are frequent fights with males from neighboring territories when they try to access the females. Mating usually takes place during the dry season. Gestation lasts for 5 to 6 months and one young is born. For the first day or two the baby stays hidden in long grass or a bush, then with its mother joins a nursery herd. At 6 months of age they are weaned. Females remain with the herd while young males join a herd of bachelor animals. Females are sexually mature when they are one year old and will reproduce every other year. Males are sexual mature at the age of 2.

Population

Population threats

Springboks are hunted, and traded alive for horns, skin, meat and as taxidermy models. They are hunted as game in Botswana Namibia and South Africa for their beautiful coats, and due to the fact that they are very common, as well as being easy to support where farms have a very low rainfall, meaning that they are also cheap to hunt.

Population number

According to the IUCN Red List the total Springbok population size in southern Africa is around 2,000,000-2,500,000 individuals. Currently this species is classifed as Least Concern (LC) and its numbers today are increasing.

References

1. Springbok Wikipedia article - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Springbok
2. Springbok on The IUCN Red List site - http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/1676/0

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