Lichtensteins hartebeest

Sigmoceros lichtensteinii

TAXONOMY

Bubalis lichtensteinii (Peters, 1849), Tete, Mozambique. Mono-typic.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

French: Bubale de Lichtenstein; German: Lichtensteins Kuhantilope, Konzi; Spanish: Bubalo de Lichtenstein.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Body length 5.3-5.7 ft (160-200 cm); shoulder height 4-5 ft (120-135 cm); tail 16-20 in (40-50 cm); 275-440 lb (125-200 kg). Horns 16-24 in (40-60 cm). Sandy yellow with reddish "saddle." Tail is black.

DISTRIBUTION

Tanzania, southeast Democratic Republic of the Congo, northeast Angola, Zambia, Malawi, southeast Zimbabwe, and northern Mozambique.

HABITAT

Savanna, associated with ecotones of open woodland, vleis, and floodplains.

BEHAVIOR

Gregarious, usually in harem herds of up to 10 (rarely 15) females and young led by an adult male, who defends a permanent territory of about 1 mi2 (2.5 km2) year-round.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Almost exclusively a grazer, taking a wide variety of grasses; occasionally eats tree leaves and fruit. Dependent on surface water.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Polygynous. Rutting in November-February; gestation period 240 days; young born July-September. Weaned at 12 months; sexual maturity probably at two years. Lifespan 20 years.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Lower Risk/Conservation Dependent. Range has contracted, at least in extreme south, due to hunting, habitat loss, and human encroachment.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS Hunted for food. ♦

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