Blackbuck

ANIMAL:
Blackbuck                    Antilope cervicapra

Type of Animal:
Antelope

Habitat:
Plains, grassland, open woodland, scrubland, semi-desert, desert, mountains, coastal areas, dry thorn forest, dry deciduous forest

Location(s):
Originally found throughout much of Indian subcontinent. Now, occurs mainly in India & small parts of Nepal & Bangladesh. Regionally extinct in Pakistan but reintroductions are occurring. Introduced populations occur in Texas & Argentina.

Appearance:
Dominant males darkest w/ dark-brown to black color on back, sides & outsides of legs. Subordinate males lighter colored but have spiral horns just like dominant males. Females lack horns & are more yellowish-brown. Both sexes have white undersides. Males lighter outside of breeding season.

Food/Diet:
Grass, leaves, pods, fruits, shrubs, flowers, cereals, grains, acacia trees, buds

Status in Wild:
Stable

Conservation:
Breeding in zoos, wildlife parks, breeding centers, & private ranches. Reintroductions into former parts of native range, such as Bangladesh, Pakistan, & Nepal.

Lifestyle:
Herds consist of dominant male w/ 5-50 females & young, sometimes w/ a few subordinate males. Other males form bachelor herds of 10-20 animals.

Additional Info:

Called:
Male-Buck
Female-Doe
Young-Fawn/Calf
Group-Herd

Weight:
Male-44-125 lbs
Female-44-72 lbs

Gestation:
5 months

Height:
Male-4-5 ft
Female-3-4 ft

Body Length:
Male-4 ft
Female-3.9 ft

Life Span:
10-12 years

Tail Length:
3.6-6.72 in, same for both sexes

Main predators of adults in native range are tigers, wolves, dholes, leopards, lions, jackals, caracals, & formerly, the now locally extinct cheetah. Coyotes prey on adults in Texas & dogs chief predators in all their range. Wild pigs prey on newborns.

Females give birth twice a year.

While population stable & increasing, some threats are hunting for meat/sport/horns, overgrazing, bovine diseases, habitat loss, & inbreeding. Interestingly, in introduced range, they’re perfectly legal to hunt w/ no effect on population. Also, they’re persecuted as crop pests. These threats more prevalent in native range.

Fights between males usually fairly ritualized.

Fun Fact(s):
They’re given religious protection in many Hindu cultures.
 
There may be as many as 30,000 in Texas, on ranches & feral.
 
Melanism & albinism have been observed in both wild & captive animals.
 
Hand-reared males known to be very aggressive as adults.

They’re very flighty.

In the past, Indian royalty hunted blackbuck w/ help of cheetahs.

They can run up to 50 mph.

4 thoughts on “Blackbuck

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