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bovid family
bovid family
other herbivores
carnivores
primates

wildlife (back to intro)

in this section
Blue Duiker
Dik-Dik
Gazelle tribe
Thomson's gazelle
Grant's gazelle
Gerenuk
Kob antelope
Waterbuck
Sable antelope
Oryx or Gemsbok
Hartebeest
Topi or Tsessebe
Common Wildebeest
Impala
Bushbuck
Sitatunga
Greater Kudu
Bongo
Common eland
African or Cape buffalo
Giraffe
Topi/Tsessebe (Endangered!!): Damaliscus lunatus

Plains antelope resembling hartebeest, only much darker in color, with smaller head and more common-looking horns. Topi are built for speed.

Characteristics

Weight and Height
males: wt 286 lb (130 kg), ht 46 in (115 cm)
females: wt 238 lb (108 kg), ht 45 in (113 cm)

Horns
Strongly ridged, "new moon" shaped in both males and females.
males: 12 to 24 in (30-60 cm)
females: 12 to 20 in (30-50 cm)

Coat
Smooth and glossy


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Color
Tan to reddish brown with purple blotches on thighs.

General Locations
Various locations in northern and southern savanna. Due to human hunting, topi populations and habitats available have been greatly reduced. Topis are still abundant in Serengeti and southern Sudan. Topis can be found in the following National Parks and Reserves: Akagera NP, Rwanda;Queen Elizabeth NP, Uganda; Masai Mara NR, Kenya; Serengeti NP, Tanzania; Moremmi GR, Botswanna; Kazuma Pan NP, Zimbabwe; Kruger NP, South Africa.

Habitat
The topi can be found ranging in anything from vast treeless plains to fields surrounded by woodlands. It can also be found occasionally in rolling hills below 5000 ft (1500 m). Topis search until they find the greenest, tenderest grass and avoid anything too mature. Topis that feed only on green grass can go without water when necessary, but must drink every day or every other day during the dry season. Topis can be found in large numbers in areas where food is abundant year-round.


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Activity
Topis are both diurnal and nocturnal. They generally feed early in the morning and in the late afternoon, but rest between these peaks. This rest period is often broken up by uncoordinated grazing periods.

Social System
Almost every form of sociable and territorial mating systems associated with antelopes can be found within the topi population. There are typically herds of 2 to 10 females and young which travel together year-round. When these herds decide on a home range, this range is generally between 124 to 988 acres (50-400 ha). Each of these herds has one or more territorial males that accompany them throughout the year.

During the migratory season, thousands of topis can be seen on large open plains. This gathering allows for topis to form sub-populations which are able to migrate together.

In some areas where the population of topis is very dense, some researchers have seen 122 topis/sq mile (47 topis/sq km). During the breeding season, there are large areas that are called "hot spots" which are breeding arenas. In some of these arenas, 100 males have been spotted within 100 to 250 yds of each other, which is quite odd seeing how topi males are very territorial.


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Reproduction
The gestation period for topis is around 8 months. Females can conceive at 16 months of age and males mature by the age of 3. Breeding is annual in most areas and calving generally occurs at the end of the dry season. In equatorial areas, however, there are two peak breeding seasons.

Predators
Most large carnivores, jackal, wildebeest, zebra, and warthog.



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