Blackbuck - North America Introduced | Online Record Book Preview
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Blackbuck - Species Detail
Antilope negro (Sp), Hirschziegenantilope (G), Antilope cervicapre (F). Also called Indian antelope.
DESCRIPTION (male) Shoulder height 22-25 inches (56-64 cm). Weight 75-110 pounds (34-50 kg), with an average of about 90 pounds (41 kg). Females are two-thirds as large as males.
A slender, graceful, very handsome antelope with contrasting dark-and-white coloration. Considered by many to be the most attractive and elegant of gazelles. One of the few antelopes where the sexes have different coloration. Mature males are a rich, dark brown (sometimes almost black) on the upperparts and outside of upper legs, but with the underparts, inside of legs, chin, ears and area around the eyes a sharply contrasting white. Females are fawn and white. Young males are colored like females, darkening gradually with age until fully mature at 4-5 years. (Oddly, a few males fail to darken, although normal in other respects.) The horns (males only) are long, closely ringed and corkscrew shaped, with 3-5 tight twists.
DISTRIBUTION Free ranging in Hawaii and Texas. Also on private properties, mainly in Texas, but also in a number of other U.S. states and in Mexico.
REMARKS Native to the plains of India and Pakistan where, until the last century, it was the most abundant hoofed animal, numbering about four million. First introduced in the United States in 1932 on private ranches in Kerr County, Texas. Subsequent introductions and transplants involved 55 counties in Texas, with the 1979 populations totaling 9,600, of which 2,600 were free ranging. Climate and habitat in Texas are similar to those of India, thus blackbuck do well there except during lengthy periods of cold weather, when large numbers perish. Blackbuck also were introduced in Argentina at various times between 1906 and the 1960s, and are well-established over a wide area. Introductions were made in western Australia beginning in 1912. In 1971 and again in 1985, blackbuck from Texas were reintroduced in Pakistan, where they had been extinct. Today, there are more blackbuck in the United States and Argentina than there are in India and Pakistan. Though first stocked on New World ranches for their ornamental value, they are now propagated mainly in commercial hunting programs and for meat production. How well blackbuck continue to do in the New World will depend on the economic viability of game ranching.
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