Blackbuck or Indian Antelope | Online Record Book Preview
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Blackbuck or Indian Antelope - Species Detail
Antilope negro (Sp), Hirschziegenantilope (G), Antilope cervicapre (F).
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 upperparts and outside of legs, with the underparts, inside of legs, 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.
BEHAVIOR A gregarious animal, with large herds composed of both sexes, smaller harems led by a mature male, and bachelor groups of immature males. Breeding males are territorial, marking and guarding their territories from other males. Mating can take place throughout the year, but the peak periods are March-April and August-October, with a single young born six months later. It is possible for a female to produce three offspring within two years. Life span in captivity as much as l6 years.
Essentially a grazer, but does browse at times. Active all day except during very hot weather when it will rest in shade at midday. Usually prefers open plains, but also found in open woodland. Very alert, with keen eyesight. Extremely fast, able to run 50-55 mph (80-88 km/h). In India, could usually outrun greyhounds, and even trained cheetahs if they were seen in time to avoid their initial rush.
HABITAT Open plains, also thorn and dry deciduous forest.
DISTRIBUTION Eastern Pakistan and India.
Outside Asia, the blackbuck has been introduced in the wild in Argentina and Australia, and on private properties in Australia and the United States.
TAXONOMIC NOTES Four subspecies are listed: cervicapra, rupicapra (United Provinces), rajputanae (Rajputana and Punjab), and centralis. We do not separate them.
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. A favorite quarry of the maharajahs, who hunted them with firearms and coursed them with trained cheetahs. Prized for its meat and as a trophy. A good game animal, wary and skittish.
The Blackbuck or Indian Antelope currently has 26 Entries listed in the SCI Record Book!
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