Yellowbacked duiker

Cephalophus silvicultor


Cephalophus silvicultor (Afzelius, 1815), Sierra Leone and the Pongas and Quia Rivers of Guinea. Two subspecies.


French: Céphalophe a dos jaune; German: Gelbrückenducker, Riesenducker.


Largest of the duikers: length 46-58 in (115-145 cm); height 25-34 in (65-85 cm); weight 99-176 lb (45-80 kg). Dark brown to black coat with white or orange short tufts of hair along the back; gray muzzle and white lips, and maxillary glands. Ridged, wedge-shaped horns grow on both males and females.


Senegal to southwestern Sudan, western Uganda and Rwanda, south to Angola and Zambia, and western Kenya.


Forests with heavy undergrowth. BEHAVIOR

Territorial and aggressive; both females and males defend the defined region, which is heavily marked with scent cues. When scared, it will emit shrill bleats and grunts, and erect its stiff orange back hairs. Nocturnal.


Prefers local vegetation from the forest undergrowth, and also eats fruit, seeds, fungi, and grasses.


Like many duikers, females reach sexual maturity 3-6 months before the male. Monogamous. Calves are weaned by five months of age.


Listed as a Lower Risk/Near Threatened species.


Bushmeat hunting continues to threaten the population. ♦

Common name / Scientific name/ Other common names

Physical characteristics

Habitat and behavior



Conservation status

Aders's duiker Cephalophus adersi French: Céphalophe de Aders; German: Adersducker

Peters's duiker Cephalophus callipygus French: Céphalophe de Peters; German: Petersducker

White-bellied duiker Cephalophus leucogaster French: Céphalophe du Gabon

Blue duiker

Cephalophus montícola German: Blauducker

Natal duiker Cephalophus natalensis French: Cephalophe rouge

Black-fronted duiker Cephalophus nigrifrons French: Cephalophe a front noir; German: Schwarzstirnducker

Abbott's duiker Cephalophus spadlx French: Céphalophe d'Abbott; German: Abbottducker

Overall coloration is tawny red, grayer in neck area. Wide, white band on rump runs cranially, underparts are lighter. Head has reddish crest with simple, spiked horns. Muzzle is pointed, nose has flat front. Marked cowlick on nape of neck. Head and body length 26-28 in (66-72 cm), shoulder height 11.8 in (30 cm).

Reddish brown pelage with thick, stocky body and long, slender legs. Head and body length 35-45 in (90-115 cm), tail length 4.7-6.3 in (12-16 cm), shoulder height 19-24 in (50-60 cm).

Coloration of pelage is reddish brown. Stocky body with longer, slender legs. Head and body length 23-39 in (90-100 cm), tail length 4.7-6 in (12-15 cm), shoulder height 16-18 in (40-45 cm).

Fur is short, red in kids, bluish gray in adults. Underside is white. Triangular horns on both sexes with ridges towards the bases. Head and body length 21-35 in (55-90 cm), weight 8.8-22.0 lb (4-10 kg).

Reddish brown pelage, stocky body with slender legs. Head and body length 3139 in (80-100 cm), tail length 4-6 in (10-15 cm), shoulder height 14-18 in (35-45 cm).

Reddish brown in coloration, black tint on forelegs and tail. Black stripe runs from nose to two, short, pointed horns. Inner ear is exposed and white. Tail is short and tipped in black. Head and body length 35-43 in (90-110 cm), tail length 4-6 in (10-15 cm), shoulder height 18-22 in (45-55 cm).

Stocky body with short, sturdy legs and a thick neck. Pelage is dark chestnut brown to black over most of body. Underparts are lighter brown with a reddish hue. Wedge-shaped face with pale gray forehead. Both sexes have horns.

Coastal forests, lowlands, and thickets. Live In pairs, defends territory, generally completely diurnal.

All forest biotopes in lowlands and mountains up to 9,840 ft (3,000 m). Very little information on behavioral and reproductive patterns.

Primary and secondary forests. Highly intolerant of same sex, fights are frequent.

Hedgerow timber, bush, and gallery forests, both large and small forests. Sedentary, solitary, and territorial.

Zanzibar, Tanzania, and Sokoke Forest, Kenya.

Thick bush and dense woodlands on the plains and in the mountains. Sedentary, solitary, and territorial.

Forest, swamp forest and marshes at both low and high altitude; sometimes found in gallery forest. Sedentary, solitary, and territorial.

Montane forests and high altitude marshes. Little known of reproductive and behavioral patterns. Very shy, will become violent if cornered.

West of Congo and Ubangi Rivers in Congo; southern Central African Republic; and Gabon and southern Cameroon.

Cameroon, Gabon, Congo, and southwestern and eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (Zaire).

Eastern Nigeria to Kenya and Tanzania, south to Angola, Zambia, Malawi, eastern Zimbabwe and Mozambique; Natal and eastern Cape Province, South Africa; Zanzibar; Bioko; and Pemba Island.

Southern Tanzania, southern Malawi, Mozambique, and Natal, South Africa.

Fallen flowers, fruits, and leaves.


Mainly grasses.

Lower Risk/Near Threatened

Grass and leaves.

Buds, young shoots, leaves, herbs, berries, grasses, fruits, termites, ants, snails, eggs, and probably birds.

Lower Risk/Near Threatened

Not threatened

Fruits, insects, and carrion.

Cameroon to Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda and western Uganda, south to northern Angola; Mt. Elgon (Uganda/Kenya); Aberdare Range and Mt. Kenya, Kenya.

Highlands of northeastern and central Tanzania.

Leaves, shoots, seeds, fruit, buds, and bark.

Lower Risk/ Conservation Dependent

Lower Risk/Near Threatened

Flowers, green shoots, and herbs.



Common name /


Habitat and


Scientific name






Weyns's duiker

Coloration of upperparts varies from

Open country with scattered

Democratic Republic of

Mainly grasses.

Lower Risk/Near

Cephalophus weynsl

almost buffy to brown to black. May

trees and brush. Sedentary,

the Congo, Uganda,


French: Cephalophe de Weyns

have stripe along middle of back.

solitary, and territorial.

Rwanda, and western

Smooth, short neck hair.


Harvey's duiker

Long, coarse upper neck fur. Coloration

Open country with scattered

Southern Somalia,

Mainly grasses.

Lower Risk/

Cephalophus harveyl

of upperparts varies from almost buffy

trees and brush. Sedentary,

eastern Kenya, eastern


to brown to black. May have stripe along

solitary, and territorial.

and southern Tanzania,


middle of back.

northern Malawi,

eastern Zambia, and

sight records from

eastern Ethiopia.

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