Maxwells duiker

Cephalophus maxwelli

TAXONOMY

Cephalophus monitcola maxwelli (Smith, 1827), Sierra Leone.

OTHER COMMON NAMES French: Cephalophe de Maxwell.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Once thought to be a subspecies of the blue duiker. Length 25-30 in (63-76 cm); height 14-16.5 in (35-42 cm); weight 11-22 lb (5-10 kg). Slate gray or gray-brown coat, with a pale belly, throat, and chin. Coloring is dark brown or charcoal-colored nose bridge and forehead, with striking white lines running from the eyes to the nose. Thin, fringed tail is 5-6 in (12-15 cm) long. Horns on both males and females are spikelike with ridges at the base. Only 2 in (5 cm) long, the horns are often hidden by the dark brown tuft of hair that grows between the horns.

DISTRIBUTION

Limited to western Africa, west of the Niger River. HABITAT

Secondary forests and moist savanna.

BEHAVIOR

Live in pairs in well-defined territories. Both sexes mark the boundaries of their ranges with secretions from the maxillary

glands. Bonded pairs often mark one another by rubbing their heads together.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Selective browser that consumes a varied diet of fruits, shrubs, and herbs. May also consume some small animals and insects.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Bonded pairs mate one time per year. Gestation is approximately 120 days, and one calf is born from each mating. The number of births in a population peaks between January and March, with a second peak occurring between August and September. Young are weaned by one year.

CONSERVATION STATUS Lower Risk/Near Threatened.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

Humans hunt it for the bushmeat trade, and have contributed to its population decline. ♦

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