There are three recognized subspecies.
- R. f. adamauae - Adamawa mountain reedbuck
- R. f. chanleri - Chanler's mountain reedbuck (named for William A. Chanler)
- R. f. fulvorufula - southern mountain reedbuck
The mountain reedbuck averages 75 cm (30 in) at the shoulder, and weighs around 30 kg (66 lb). It has a grey coat with a white underbelly and reddish-brown head and shoulders. The male has ridged horns of around 35 cm (14 in), which curve forwards. Both sexes have a dark scent patch beneath the ears.
Distribution and habitat
The mountain reedbuck occurs in three separate geographic areas, each containing a separate subspecies. The southern mountain reedbucks inhabits an area from the eastern Cape Province (South Africa) to southeastern Botswana. Chanler's mountain reedbuck occurs in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Sudan, and Ethiopia. The Adamawa mountain reedbuck has only been found in Cameroon. The species occupies ridges and hillsides in rocky country and high-altitude grasslands (often with some tree or bush cover), at altitudes of 1,500-5,000 m.
Current total population of all subspecies has been estimated at some 36,000 individuals.
Mountain reedbucks are predominantly grazers, and water is an important habitat requirement. They tend to feed in the early evening and morning hours, normally in small groups of six or fewer animals. A typical group is made up of one adult male and several adult females and juveniles. Adolescent males are forced out of their herds and form small bachelor herds. Lifespan in the wild is unknown, but specimens of related species in captivity have been recorded to live up to 18 years.
The mountain reedbuck is subject to some pressure from hunting and human encroachment on its habitat, but current populations appear stable, and the species is classified as Least concern by the IUCN.