The Blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra), is a species of antelope found mainly in India, but also in parts of Pakistan and Nepal. There are also introduced populations in various parts of the world including numerous ranches in Texas in the United States of America. There are also free-ranging populations in Argentina.
The horns of the Blackbuck are ringed with 3 to 4 turns and can be as long as 28 inches. The Adult males can grow as tall as 32 inches and can weigh as much as 95 pounds. In the male, the upper body is black (dark brown), and the belly and eye rings are white. The light-brown female is usually hornless.
Originally spread over large tracts of India (except in North East India). Today the Blackbuck population is confined to areas in Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana and Gujarat with a few small pockets in Central India. Its original habitat is open plain and not dense jungles. On the open plain, the Blackbuck is one of the fastest animals and can outrun most predators over long distances.
Blackbucks usually roam the plains in herds of 15 to 20 animals with one dominant male. The diet of the Blackbuck consists mostly of grasses, although it does eat pods, flowers and fruits to supplement its diet. The maximum life span recorded is 16 years and the average is 12 years.
Photo Credit: Raja Purohit