Lechwe: Living on the Edge?
The Lechwe, a species of antelope found in particularly swampy areas of Africa. It is classified as a species of “Least Concern” according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN.) However, threats to this species, including illegal hunting could cause pandemonium for their ecosystems and the significant roles they play in them.
How Nikela Helps
Although Nikela does not have a project that directly protects Lechwe, many awareness campaigns address the plight of Africa’s wild animals and birds due to trophy hunting and other factors as a whole. Because Nikela is for preserving all wild things and their wild places.
Facts about Lechwe
Lechwe can be found living on the edge of the marshes. They are found in Botswana, Zambia, southeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, northeastern Nambia, and eastern Angola.
Of the Bovidae (cloven-hooved) family, the Kobus leche has four known subspecies: Red Lechwe, Kafue Flats Lechwe, Roberts’ Lechwe – now a rare species – and the Black Lechwe.
Lechwe are typically 90-100 cm tall at their shoulders and weigh between 70 to 120 kg. Lechwe are also usually golden-brown with white bellies but males are generally darker in color. The color, however, may depend on the subspecies. Male Lechwe also have spiral horns that resemble lyres. Their legs are covered in a water repellent substance allowing them to move swiftly through knee-deep water.
Lechwe eat aquatic plants.
Lechwe are awake in the daytime and sleep at night. They gather in herds, which can be made up of thousands, but typically all of one sex. During mating season, they will mix.
Mostly illegal hunting for Lechwe has caused some decline in populations, but as of 2008, the IUCN lists the Lechwe as “Least Concern” because the populations were stable or increasing. However, adequate control on illegal hunting is key for keeping the species at equilibrium.
Contributed by Anne Okonowski