Mountain nyala

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Mountain nyala
Tragelaphus buxtoni.jpg
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Bovidae
Subfamily: Bovinae
Genus: Tragelaphus
Species: T. buxtoni
Binomial name
Tragelaphus buxtoni
(Lydekker, 1910)

The mountain nyala (Tragelaphus buxtoni) or balbok is an antelope found in high altitude woodland in a small part of central Ethiopia. Mountain nyala were named for their similarity to the nyala, but they are now considered closer relatives of the kudu.

Mountain nyala stand 90-135 cm at the shoulder and weigh 150 to 300 kilograms, males being considerably larger than females. Mountain nyala have grey-brown coats sometimes with poorly defined white stripes and splotches, their coats darken as they age, the underside is lighter than the rest of the coat. Males have horns that twist one or two times and average slightly less than a metre in length.

Mountain nyala are endemic to the Ethiopian highlands southeast of the Rift Valley, between 6°N and 10°N. Their former range was from Mount Gara Muleta in the east to Shashamene and the northern Bale Zone to the south; currently, the main area of distribution is the Bale Mountains National Park. Within this range, the mountain nyala prefer woodland, heath, and scrub at altitudes of at least 2000 metres above sea level sometimes wandering as high as 4000 metres. Mountain nyala mainly eat herbs and shrubs. Mountain nyala generally live in groups of about four to six animals, though sometimes groups are larger, ranging to 13 and occasionally even more. While these groups are formed of females and their calves, they often include a single old male.

There are about 2,500 mountain nyala in existence. They are threatened primarily by the encroachment of too many people in to their habitat.

adult male
adult female

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sillero-Zubiri, C. (2008). Tragelaphus buxtoni. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 29 March 2009. Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is of endangered.