Kirk’s Dik-Dik

ANIMAL:
Kirk’s Dik-Dik Madoqua kirkii

Type of Animal:
Antelope

Habitat:
Dry bush, mixed bush-grass habitat, savanna, shrubland, open plains, arid/semiarid areas, desert thickets along water sources, thicket mosaics w/ well-developed shrub layers & scant short grass cover, arid dense thorn scrub, thickets, open woodland, woodland edges, riverine woodland, grasslands, scrub forest, semiopen areas w/ low vegetation, thornbush, desert, semidesert

Location(s):
2 populations-1 in SE Somalia, Kenya, E Uganda, & Tanzania, other in SW Angola & NW Namibia

Appearance:
Largest of 4 dik-dik species, very small antelopes, dainty light grey to gray-brown w/ tan flanks/limbs, erectile head crest, whitish eye rings/ear lining/underbelly/rump, only males have small horns, males often lighter than females, skinny legs, elongated snout

Food/Diet:
Foliage, fruits, shoots, berries, leaves, herbs, sedges, grasses, buds, tree/shrub stems

Status in Wild:
Stable

Conservation:
Breeding in zoos, wildlife parks, & breeding centers

Lifestyle:
Male-female pairs

Additional Info:

Called:
Male: Buck
Female: Doe
Young: Fawn/Calf
Group: Pair
 
Weight:
Male: 8.8 lbs
Female: 11 lbs
Young: 2 lbs

Gestation:
5.5-5.6 months 

Life Span:
5 years in wild, 10-17 years in captivity

Height:
Male: 1.26 ft
Female: 1.3 ft

Body Length:
Male: 2.21 ft
Female: 2.26 ft

Tail Length:
Male: 1.77 in
Female: 2 in

Main predators of adults are felids, hyenas, wild dogs, jackals, crocodiles, pythons, eagles, baboons, hawks, monitor lizards, & honey badgers. Genets prey on young.
 
Females sexually mature at 6 months, males at 7.5-8 months.
 
Territory marked w/ defecation ceremony-1st female poops/pees in specific area w/ mate standing behind her. Then male sniffs at poop/pee while curling upper lip/baring teeth. Male scrapes poop w/ front legs, depositing own droppings/pee over hers. Territory also marked w/ eye secretions from preorbital glands-secretion spread by poking eyes in grass stems/twigs.
 
Get most water from diet, so they don’t need to drink often.
 
Like all antelope, they have 4-chambered stomach & use rumination to break down partially digested food.
 
Hunted for hide used in glove-making & bones used in jewelry-making.

Fun Fact(s):
Some of the most concentrated urine & driest feces of any ungulate (hooved mammal).
 
Have excellent eyesight & can run up to 26 mph.
 
Can pant to pump blood through snouts, where airflow/evaporation cool it down before blood pumped to rest of body.
 
They’re very shy & flighty in the wild.
 
Named for sound they make-when alarmed, they’ll run in zigzag pattern & make alarm call sounding like “dik dik” by whistling through noses-shrill sound alerts other dik-diks & other animals of nearby danger.

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