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Greater Kudu, Tragelaphus strepsiceros

Legal Status: Greater kudu are not covered by the U.S. Endangered Species Act or regulated in international trade by CITES. IUCN lists them as Low Risk, Conservation Dependant, and is not considered to be at risk at this time. Greater kudu are widely hunted in southern Africa as a game species. Description: The second largest of the antelope, greater kudu is one of nine species of spiral-horned antelope that make up the bovid tribe Strepsicerotini. Adult males weigh as much as 418 - 700 lb. (190315 kg.). Females are slightly smaller. The most striking and distinguishing characteristic of the species is the males' spiral horns that may reach 70 in. (180 cm.) in length. Females do not have horns. Males and females have similar coloration, charcoal gray with white lateral lines along the sides of the body, and a white chevron across the bridge of the nose. The number of lines along the sides of the body varies and may be diagnostic in determining the area of origin. Both sexes are tall and slightly built, with the bull having a more pronounced mane and neck.

Range: Greater kudu are found in southern Chad, northern Central African Republic, western and eastern Sudan, northeast Uganda, Ethiopia, Somalia, South Africa, Namibia, Angola, and southeast Congo. Historically more abundant than the present day, it has persisted in greater numbers in its former range than many other species of large antelope, due to its secretiveness and its ability to survive in undisturbed pockets in otherwise cultivated areas. They are most common in southern Africa. Habitat: Greater Kudu prefer medium level woody growth, needing it for both food and shelter. Highly adaptable, they can persist in close proximity to human habitation if otherwise undisturbed. Diet: Among the least selective of browsers, Greater Kudu feed off of a variety of shrubs and grasses. The species tends to disperse during the dry season in search of food. Social Organization: Seasonally occupying a home range of 7 - 12 sq. miles (3 - 5 sq. ha.), female greater kudu typically live in groups of two to fifteen animals. Bulls tend to occupy the same home range year after year and usually overlap the home range of two or three groups of cows. Bulls make lateral displays to determine rank, thereby reducing fighting . When fights do occur, combatants engage horns frontally and attempt to push or throw each other off balance. Occasionally horns become locked and result in the death of both animals. Threats To Survival: Hunted extensively throughout its range, greater kudu are disappearing in parts of their range. On a continent-wide basis, interference

by man is considered the biggest threat through habitat loss for agriculture, poaching, charcoal production and hunting pressure. In South Africa and Namibia, they are highly prized for their meat as well as their horns and cropped regularly for export as well as local consumption. Considered a prized trophy animal, greater kudu are maintained on private ranches for hunting. Zoo Programs: A North American Regional Studbook has been established and a Population Management Plan (PMP) is in production. While greater kudu thrive in zoo situations, they have proven problematic when maintained on free range North American ranches. Genetic diversity of the captive (U.S.) population is good and this species should be relatively easy to maintain without many imports from other regions. Conservation: Due to its popularity as a trophy and game animal, greater kudu are widely maintained on ranches and reserves in South Africa. Where left undisturbed, the species' ability to exist in close association with humans lends hope to the chances for its continued survival.

Contacts: North American Regional Studbook Keeper and Population Manager: Andrea DeMuth Brookgreen Gardens Ph: 843-235-6054 E-mail: 843-235-6054 mailto:[email protected] Wild Status: Steve Shurter International Programs Director- Gilman International Conservation Assistant Director - White Oak Conservation Center 581705 White Oak Road Yulee, Florida, USA 32097 phone: 904 225 3290 mailto:[email protected]

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