Nyala

Nyala

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  • Information
  • Conservation
  • Lifestyle

Description

Nyala are extremely sexually dimorphic, the two sexes looking entirely different. Females and juveniles have a chestnut-brown coat with 10 or more white vertical stripes and spots. Males are larger than the females with a shaggy gray-blue coat and similar white stripes. Only males have curved horns with 1-1.5 twists that grow 24-33 in (60-83 cm) long.

Classification

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

Key Facts

Height
2.5-4 ft (~80-120 cm)
Weight
120-310 lb (~55-140 kg)

The IUCN Red List describes Tragelaphus angasii as a species of Least Concern. While nyala have been severely depleted in the past due to habitat destruction, total population numbers have been estimated at around 32,000.

Social Life
Gregarious antelope, Nyala generally live in groups of 2-30 individuals. Males form bachelor herds and become solitary as they mature. They are very shy and thus the majority of sightings of wild nyala are at water holes. They are most active during the early morning and late afternoon, resting in thick brush during the hottest times of the day and emerging at night to feed along the river banks. Adult males fight in the presence of a female in estrus. If threatened females give a deep barking alarm call.

Habitat and Range
Nyala herds are small in number and inhabit dense woodlands and thick brush near permanent sources of water. They are found in sub-Saharan Africa in Botswana, South Africa, Malawi, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe.

Diet
Nyala are browsers and grazers, eating fruits, pods, twigs, flowers, grasses and leaves. They drink daily when water is available, but can survive in areas where water is only available seasonally. Nyala sometimes follow feeding baboons, taking advantage of the fruits and leaves that they dislodge from trees.

Lifespan
In the wild nyala can live up to 16 years, with an 18 year documented maximum in captivity.

Predators
Primary predators of nyala include leopards, lions, painted dogs and spotted hyenas.

Reproduction
Sexual maturity: Male: 18 months, Female: 11-12 months
Mating Season: Spring and autumn
Birth Season:    Following spring and autumn
Gestation:          7 months
No. of Young:     1

Information

Description

Nyala are extremely sexually dimorphic, the two sexes looking entirely different. Females and juveniles have a chestnut-brown coat with 10 or more white vertical stripes and spots. Males are larger than the females with a shaggy gray-blue coat and similar white stripes. Only males have curved horns with 1-1.5 twists that grow 24-33 in (60-83 cm) long.

Classification

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

Key Facts

Height
2.5-4 ft (~80-120 cm)
Weight
120-310 lb (~55-140 kg)
Conservation

The IUCN Red List describes Tragelaphus angasii as a species of Least Concern. While nyala have been severely depleted in the past due to habitat destruction, total population numbers have been estimated at around 32,000.

Lifestyle

Social Life
Gregarious antelope, Nyala generally live in groups of 2-30 individuals. Males form bachelor herds and become solitary as they mature. They are very shy and thus the majority of sightings of wild nyala are at water holes. They are most active during the early morning and late afternoon, resting in thick brush during the hottest times of the day and emerging at night to feed along the river banks. Adult males fight in the presence of a female in estrus. If threatened females give a deep barking alarm call.

Habitat and Range
Nyala herds are small in number and inhabit dense woodlands and thick brush near permanent sources of water. They are found in sub-Saharan Africa in Botswana, South Africa, Malawi, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe.

Diet
Nyala are browsers and grazers, eating fruits, pods, twigs, flowers, grasses and leaves. They drink daily when water is available, but can survive in areas where water is only available seasonally. Nyala sometimes follow feeding baboons, taking advantage of the fruits and leaves that they dislodge from trees.

Lifespan
In the wild nyala can live up to 16 years, with an 18 year documented maximum in captivity.

Predators
Primary predators of nyala include leopards, lions, painted dogs and spotted hyenas.

Reproduction
Sexual maturity: Male: 18 months, Female: 11-12 months
Mating Season: Spring and autumn
Birth Season:    Following spring and autumn
Gestation:          7 months
No. of Young:     1

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Nyala