A. Smith, 1834
The klipspringer (Oreotragus oreotragus) is a small species of African antelope.
Distribution and habitat
The klipspringer lives from the Cape of Good Hope, where it is found in mountain fynbos, through the rest of Southern Africa, where it is found in rocky koppies in woodland and savanna, north to East Africa and into the highly mountainous highlands of Ethiopia.
Reaching approximately 58 cm (22 inches) at the shoulder, klipspringers are smaller than most other antelopes. They stand on the tips of their hooves and can fit all four hooves on a piece of cliff the size of a Canadian dollar coin, roughly 30 mm in diameter. Male klipspringer horns are usually about 10–15 cm (4–6 inches) long. Female klipspringers in eastern African populations also have horns.
With a thick and dense, speckled "salt and pepper" patterned coat of an almost olive shade, klipspringers blend in well with the koppies (rock outcrops) on which they can usually be found. However, their agility on rocks and crags is so extreme that their most dangerous enemies are eagles and humans, so camouflage is not as important to them as to most other antelope.
Klipspringers form breeding pairs rather than herds. The pairs mate for life and will spend most of their lives in close proximity to each other. When one klipspringer is eating, the other will assume lookout duty, helping to keep the pair aware of any predators.
The mating season for klipspringers is from September through January. The gestation period is about 214 days.
- IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group (2008). Oreotragus oreotragus. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 29 March 2009.
- Klipspringer at Animal Diversity Web
- Klipspringer at WildInfo
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