Klipspringer | Online Record Book Preview
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Klipspringer - Species Detail
Antilope saltarrocas (Sp), Klipspringer (G), Oréotrague (F), Klipspringer (Af). Klipspringer means rock-jumper in Afrikaans.
DESCRIPTION Shoulder height 20-23 inches (51-58 cm). Weight 35-40 pounds (16-18 kg).
The klipspringer is a small, compact antelope with a small, round head and a coat of coarse, pithy, brittle hairs. The legs are sturdy, and appear longer than they are because the animal actually walks on the tips of its blunt, cylindrical, rubbery hoofs. (Its coat and hoofs distinguish it from all other African antelopes.) The general color is yellowish olive sprinkled with gray, and the underparts are yellowish white. The tail is a mere stump. The horns are small, ringed at the base, and rise nearly vertically above the eyes with only a slight forward curve. They are grown by males only, except in the subspecies schillingsi (southern Kenya and most of Tanzania), whose females usually have well-developed horns. Females are a little larger than males and lack horns (except for schillingsi), but are otherwise similar.
BEHAVIOR Lives in pairs-possibly mating for life-or in small family groups. Territorial when breeding, which may be year-round in some regions or seasonal in others. Usually one young is born after about seven months gestation, and two births within a year are possible. Sexually mature at one year. Longevity as much as 15 years in captivity.
Most activity is early and late in the day, also on moonlit nights. Feeds mainly on shrubs and herbs, also flowers, fruit, mosses and grasses. Stands on its hind legs to reach foliage. Drinks when water is available, but can do without it by obtaining moisture from vegetation. Its eyesight and hearing are good, more important than its sense of smell. Often seen keeping watch from the top of a rock. Its characteristic pose is to stand with its back hunched and all four hoofs almost touching. Warning call is a sharp whistle. Able to run up and down steep cliffs and leap from rock to rock in a phenomenal manner. Its gait is a series of abrupt, jerky hops.
HABITAT Rocky areas of all kinds, from small hills to mountains as high as 13,000 feet (4,000 m).
DISTRIBUTION Widespread in suitable habitat throughout eastern and southern Africa, from the Red Sea Hills in Sudan to Namibia and South Africa. There is also an isolated population on the Jos Plateau in central Nigeria, and probably another in the Bongo Mountains in the northern Central African Republic, although this needs to be verified.
REMARKS Should be taken with a small caliber or a solid bullet, as the skin and hair are easily damaged.
TAXONOMIC NOTES Eleven subspecies are listed: aceratos, aureus, centralis, oreotragus, porteousi, saltatrixoides, schillingsi, somalicus, stevensoni, transvaalensis and tyleri. They are combined here.
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