The Greater Kudu Haunted by Enemies
The Greater Kudu is one of the largest antelopes. With its long legs it can jump up to 6 feet. It’s distinct and unique features allow it to camouflage hiding from predators. There’s approximately 118,000 remaining. The Greater Kudu is one of the most peaceful animals in Africa, but there is danger all around it and an increasing rate of its population declining. The Greater Kudu holds a status of Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, but its long term survival will depend on how well we as humans protect them.
How Nikela Helps
Although Nikela does not have a project that directly protects the Greater Kudu many awareness campaigns address the plight of Africa’s endangered and threatened wildlife species as a whole. Actually Nikela is for preserving all wild things and their wild places.
More About the Greater Kudu
Distribution and Habitat
The Greater Kudu is found throughout Eastern and Southern Africa. Mainly located in woodlands, bush lands, hills, grasslands and mountains.
The Greater Kudu can be distinguished by its narrow body, long legs, large ears and especially its brown coating with vertical white stripes. Males have long, spiral horns and a fringe under their chin. While females are usually smaller in size and have no horns.
Greater Kudus are herbivorous mammals, feeding mainly on leaves, flowers and fruits. They depend mainly on wild watermelons and other fruits for water since they live in dry areas. Where farming is located near their habitat, Kudus will sneak in at night for a visit to vegetable plots.
Behavior and Social Groups
Females form groups consisting of 4-10 individuals including their calves. Male Kudus are mostly solitary but can join female groups during the mating season. Males can also form bachelor groups of their own. Males are rarely aggressive. Hierarchy is determined in males by age and size. Usually they engage in sparring competitions locking horns and pushing against each other. Dominance can be easily established when one male stands sideways and looks as large as possible until the other one is impressed and backs away.
Even though they reside in the Eastern and Southern parts of Africa, Greater Kudus are lightly populated in some areas as a result of habitat loss, hunting and predation. People are transforming the Kudus’ habitat into farmland and others hunt it for its uniquely twisted horn. Even though Kudus are peaceful animals, they are hunted by predators like wild cats and wild dogs including: Hyenas, Leopard and Lions.
Contributed by Nikela Volunteer Susana Galvan