One off the smaller antelope found in eastern and southern Africa is called the Klipspringer (Oreotragus oreotragus). The klipspringer grows to a shoulder height of 43 – 60 centimetres (17 – 24 inches) and can weight anything from 8 – 18 kilograms (18 – 40 pounds). The coat of the klipspringer is escpecially adapted to act as an efficient camouflage in its rocky habitat and has a yellowish gray to reddish brown colour and the coat is hollow with brittle hairs, unlike most other antelopes. Only the males have horns which can measure from 7.5 – 9 centimetres (3 – 3.5 inches) long.

The Klipspringers’ habitat is characterised by rocky terrain and sparse vegetation. They usually browse on young plants, fruits and flowers. They are mainly active at night (nocturnal) and will rest during the middle of the day and late at night.

The monogamous Klipspringer exhibit a lifelong pair bonding with the opposite sex which is to a much greater extent than other antelopes. They males form territories of 7.5 – 46 hectares (19 – 121 acres) big and they live there with their partners and offspring and they tend to stay as close as 5 metres (16 feet) from each other.

The males will mark their territories by either forming large dung heaps at the borders of their territories or they will mark their territories by a secretion of a thick, black substance from their preorbital glands onto vegetaion and rocks in their territories.

Primarily a browser, the klipspringer prefers young plants, fruits and flowers. Grasses eaten mainly during the rain season forms a minor part of their diet. The Klipspringer is mainly dependant on succulent plants to meet their water requirements. They can reach tall branches by standing on their hindlegs and and it was also observed that they can climb a tree up to a height of 5.4 metres (18 feet) to reach the branches.

The female Klipspringer becomes sexualy mature by the time they are one year old while the males takes slightly longer to mature. Gestation lasts around six months, following with a single lamb is born and births peak from spring to early summer. They newborn is hidden for up to three moths to protect it from predators. The lambs is weaned at four to five months old and leaves its mother when it turns a year old. The Klipspringer has a lifespan of up to 15 years.

Predators include the baboon, black-backed jackal, caracal, eagle, leopard, eagles and the spotted hyena.


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