Greater Kudu

Kudu, Greater

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  • Information
  • Conservation
  • Lifestyle

Description

Greater kudu are large, elegant antelope with the largest horns in the bushbuck tribe, up to 40-56 in (100-140 cm) long. Only the males have the long spiral horns with 2-3 twists at maturity. Their body fur varies from reddish brown to blue-gray; the color of the males darkens with age. They have 6-10 vertical white stripes on their flanks and huge, cupped ears.

Classification

Class
Mammalia
Order
Cetartiodactyla
Family
Bovidae
Genus
Tragelaphus
Species
T. strepsiceros
Conservation Status
Least Concern

Key Facts

Height
3-5 ft (~100-160 cm)
Weight
265-790 lb (~120-315 kg)

The IUCN Red List describes Tragelaphus strepsiceros as a species of Least Concern with a population of around 482,000 individuals. The greater kudu is extremely wary and dependent on woodlands and thickets for concealment.

Social Life
Kudu females and their offspring form small groups of 6-10, while the males may form small bachelor groups of 2-10 individuals but are more commonly solitary and widely dispersed. The males usually only join the group during mating season. Kudu have large ears that are extremely sensitive to noise, making these shy antelope difficult to approach. When startled they flee with large jumps of up to 8 ft (2.5 m) in the air with their tails flashing the white underside.

Habitat and Range
Greater kudu are found in a variety of habitats throughout southern and eastern Africa. They range throughout woodlands scrub, open forests, thickets and in hilly rough terrain. Kudu need cover for concealment, as long as they have good cover they are able to survive in the settled areas of Africa.

Diet
Herbivorous browsers that generally feed in the early morning and late evening, kudu eat leaves, grass, herbs, vines, fruits, seed pods, and flowers. They may drink water in the dry season but are capable of surviving in a waterless region.

Lifespan
Greater kudu typically live 7-8 years in the wild but in captivity have been known to live 20-23 years.

Predators
Main predators of kudu adults include lions, painted dogs, and hyenas; smaller and younger kudu are preyed upon by leopards and cheetahs.

Reproduction
Sexual maturity: Male: 21-24 months, Female: 15-21 months
Mating Season: Year-round
Birth Season:    Year-round
Gestation:          7-9 months
No. of Young:    1

Information

Description

Greater kudu are large, elegant antelope with the largest horns in the bushbuck tribe, up to 40-56 in (100-140 cm) long. Only the males have the long spiral horns with 2-3 twists at maturity. Their body fur varies from reddish brown to blue-gray; the color of the males darkens with age. They have 6-10 vertical white stripes on their flanks and huge, cupped ears.

Classification

Class
Mammalia
Order
Cetartiodactyla
Family
Bovidae
Genus
Tragelaphus
Species
T. strepsiceros
Conservation Status
Least Concern

Key Facts

Height
3-5 ft (~100-160 cm)
Weight
265-790 lb (~120-315 kg)
Conservation

The IUCN Red List describes Tragelaphus strepsiceros as a species of Least Concern with a population of around 482,000 individuals. The greater kudu is extremely wary and dependent on woodlands and thickets for concealment.

Lifestyle

Social Life
Kudu females and their offspring form small groups of 6-10, while the males may form small bachelor groups of 2-10 individuals but are more commonly solitary and widely dispersed. The males usually only join the group during mating season. Kudu have large ears that are extremely sensitive to noise, making these shy antelope difficult to approach. When startled they flee with large jumps of up to 8 ft (2.5 m) in the air with their tails flashing the white underside.

Habitat and Range
Greater kudu are found in a variety of habitats throughout southern and eastern Africa. They range throughout woodlands scrub, open forests, thickets and in hilly rough terrain. Kudu need cover for concealment, as long as they have good cover they are able to survive in the settled areas of Africa.

Diet
Herbivorous browsers that generally feed in the early morning and late evening, kudu eat leaves, grass, herbs, vines, fruits, seed pods, and flowers. They may drink water in the dry season but are capable of surviving in a waterless region.

Lifespan
Greater kudu typically live 7-8 years in the wild but in captivity have been known to live 20-23 years.

Predators
Main predators of kudu adults include lions, painted dogs, and hyenas; smaller and younger kudu are preyed upon by leopards and cheetahs.

Reproduction
Sexual maturity: Male: 21-24 months, Female: 15-21 months
Mating Season: Year-round
Birth Season:    Year-round
Gestation:          7-9 months
No. of Young:    1

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Kudu, Greater