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bovid family
bovid family
other herbivores

wildlife (back to intro)

in this section
Blue Duiker
Gazelle tribe
Thomson's gazelle
Grant's gazelle
Kob antelope
Sable antelope
Oryx or Gemsbok
Topi or Tsessebe
Common Wildebeest
Greater Kudu
Common eland
African or Cape buffalo
Waterbuck: Kobus ellipsiprymnus

A large, stocky antelope, occasionally resembling deer.


Weight and Height
males: wt 520 lb (236 kg), ht 51 in (127 cm)
females: wt 409 lb (186 kg), ht 48 in (119 cm)

22-39 in (55-99 cm); very thick and deeply ridged

Coarse fur with a rough neck mane

Red-brown with black legs and white rump, underparts, ear, throat, and snout

General Locations
Northern and Southern Savanna. Nairobi NP and Tanzania's Ngorongoro Crater. Nakuru and Meru NP, Kenya; Moyowosi GR, Serengeti NP, Tanzania, Akagera NP Rwanda; Queen Elizabeth and Murchison Falls NP, Uganda; Kafue and Luangwa NP, Zambia; Zambezi and Mana Pools NP, Zimbabwe; Kruger NP, Umfolozi-Hluhluwe GR, South Africa.

Waterbucks have to stay within several miles of water so that they can easily drink every day or every two days. Having a preference for grasslands, waterbucks graze on firm ground generally found next to woodlands. Waterbucks typically graze on medium and short grasses which are good sources of protein. When grass is not abundant, herbs and foliage seem to be their second choice.

Both diurnal and nocturnal. Waterbucks tend to change daily patterns depending on season, age, sex, and distance from water.

Social System
Waterbucks are sedentary and territorial. This, however, is atypical, because bachelor herds are widely accepted among other male and female herds. Territorial males often allow other adult males into their territory as long as those males will leave after a short period of time. Typical herds range from 5-10 to 70 members. Researchers believe that waterbucks are basically independent, but happen to share the same home range with many others.

Territories/home ranges vary in size depending on population, density, age of animals, and type of habitat. In Queen Elizabeth, for example, an average of 10 cows were found per 1500 acres (600 ha).

How it moves
Waterbucks lack speed and endurance, so they rely on bushes or wooded areas for protection from predators.

Gestation is 8 to 8.5 months. In higher elevations, calving takes place during the rainy season only. However, cows living near the equator tend to calve year-round. Most females begin reproduction after the age of 3 and conceive every 10 months from that point on.

Spotted hyena, lion, leopard, and wild dog.

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