|Male, Serengeti, Tanzania|
|Female, Serengeti, Tanzania|
The yellow to grayish brown coat of Bohor reedbucks feels rough and oily. The undersides are white in color. A few markings—like a dark stripe on the front of each foreleg, a pale ring of hair around the eyes and along the lips, lower jaw, and upper throat—can be found. Males have thick necks and a pair of short, stout horns, extending backward from the forehead before hooking sharply inwards and forwards at the tips. The horns measure about 25–35 cm (9.8–14 in). Some Sudanese reedbucks have very long, wide-spreading horns, too. Females lack horns. Males weigh 43–65 kg (95–140 lb), while females weigh 35–45 kg (77–99 lb). A bohor reddbuck can survive for almost ten years.
Bohor reedbucks are active almost all the time, but often rest in grasslands during midday. Many predators, including lion, leopard, spotted hyena, African wild dog and Nile crocodile, prey on these reedbucks. Bohor reedbucks can easily hide in grasses and reeds, as the colors of their coats match the ground. When threatened, they usually remain motionless or retreat slowly into cover for defense, but if the threat is close, they flee, whistling shrilly to alert the others. It hides from predators rather than forming herds in defense. Adult males maintain territories about 0.2–0.3 km2 (49–74 acres) in area, and defend them by patrolling instead of marking them.
Most of these antelopes remain solitary. Two to seven adult females and one mature male occupy a shared home range, but cannot stay together for too long. In Sudan, many large groups have over hundred members in summer. Male calves are driven away from the herd after six months, and form bachelor herds until they become fully mature at the age of four years. These often form their own groups.
The Bohor reedbuck is a herbivore and prefers grasses and tender reed shoots with high protein and low fiber. It generally feeds in night. If the season is wet, food is abundant. During summer they feed on other types of vegetation, such as wheat and other grains, if their normal feed is not available. According to Richard Despard Estes, a biologist specializing in the behaviour of mammals in mainland Africa, they may not need to drink water if they are in green pastures, though they require it much.
A male reaches sexual maturity at the age of three to four years, while females start their reproductive cycle at just one year of age. Courtship begins with the male circling the female, making a peculiar bleating noise. Like many other animals, Bohor reedbucks also fight over dominance. The gestation period lasts seven to eight months. A female can produce one offspring per birth, which remains well hidden for the first two months of life. Fewer births occur during the dry season, but breeding is peak during rainy season. The estrous cycle repeats every 9–14 months.
Habitat and distribution
Bohor reedbuck occurs from Senegal, east to Ethiopia and south to Tanzania. They inhabit moist and unstable grasslands and swamplands, and often can adapt well to flooding, drought and fires. Typically found in floodplain and woodland habitats, they have a preference for coastal areas with tall grass. According to the IUCN, it is mostly found in Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sudan, Tanzania, and Togo (and perhaps in Eritrea).
Conservation and threats
Though Bohor reedbuck is a common and widely distributed species and is of least concern, it still faces the threat of habitat loss and degradation due to too many human settlements into its habitat (particularly in west Africa, where reedbuck is scarce) and poaching. It is possibly extinct in Côte d'Ivoire and Uganda by now. Bohor reedbucks have been a game animal in Africa in the past. During the dry season, Bohors are hunted with dogs and nets in Uganda. Bohors with the largest horns are prized by hunters. This also decreased the population. According to the IUCN, major threats for the extinction of Bohor reedbuck include droughts, floodplain degradation, overhunting, and loss of habitat.
- IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group (2008). Redunca redunca. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 18 January 2009. Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is of least concern
- Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M., eds. (2005). Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 722. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
- Huffman, Brent. "Redunca redunca (Bohor reedbuck)".
- Kingdon, Jonathan (1988). East African Mammals: An Atlas of Evolution in Africa, Volume 3, Part C (PDF). Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. p. 351. ISBN 0-226-43718-3.
- "Bohor reedbuck (Redunca redunca)". ARKive.
- Newell, Tony Lynn. "Redunca redunca (Bohar reedbuck)". University of Michigan Museum of Zoology. Animal Diversity Web.
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