Blue Duiker

Blue Duiker.


Name

Blue Duiker (Philantomba monticola)

Appearance

The Blue Duiker is the smallest antelope in Southern Africa. Measures 300 mm at the shoulders and females weighs 4.7 kg, males only 4 kg. The coat is blue-grey. Both sexes carry short sharp horns, which are often concealed by a tuft of hair.

Diet

The Blue Duiker feeds on fresh leaves, fruit and flowers fallen from the forest canopy.

Breeding

They are non-seasonal breeders, with a gestation period of about 210 days. Single fawns are born, weighing 400 grams. Young are hidden for the first few weeks after birth, and later driven from the parent's territory when sexually matured at about 388 days.

Where they are found

The Blue Duiker is widely distributed from the Eastern Cape to parts of West Africa. However, as a consequence of its habitat preference the distribution range is as disjunct as is the indigenous evergreen forests they frequent. The species is classified as rare in the South African Red Data Book.

Field notes

Blue Duikers are known to eat birds eggs and insects ? making them omnivorous, although the predominant food is vegetation. They are preyed on by eagles, in particular the forest patrolling Crowned Eagle.



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