Common Duiker, Sylvicapra grimmia

The common duiker (Sylvicapra grimmia) is also known as the bush duiker or grey duiker. This antelope can be found throughout north, east, south, and West Africa. However, it cannot be found in the rainforests of the central and western areas, or in the horn of Africa. It prefers habitats with plenty of vegetation in which it can hide, and these habitats include the edges of human communities.

With nineteen subspecies listed under the common duiker, coloration varies from region to region. Duikers in the forest areas of Angola can be bronze, while duikers in arid areas can vary in light brown shades. The average height at the shoulder for the common duiker is 1.6 feet. It can weigh up to fifty-five pounds, and females are typically larger than males. Male duikers have horns that can grow to 4.2 inches long. Breeding season occurs year-round for these duikers, and the pregnancy period is estimated to be between 3.5 months to seven months, after which one baby duiker is born.

The diet if the common duiker is wide ranging. It will eat flowers, leaves, fruits, and shoots. It will also eat carrion, small birds and mammals, and insects. During rainy seasons, the common duiker will forego drinking water frequently, instead using the vegetation it eats as a source of hydration. These duikers can be seen foraging for fruit dropped by monkeys under trees. They are mostly active during the day, except near human settlements where they choose to be nocturnal.

Male common duikers are territorial and will rub gland secretions on rocks and trees to mark their territory. They will rest on raised ground in order to watch over their territories. Females prefer to rest within vegetation cover. It is thought that the success of this species is due to their ability to adapt to many habitats and sources of food. The conservation status of the common duiker is of “Least Concern”.

Image Caption: Common Duiker, Sylvicapra grimmia. Credit: Chuckupd/Wikipedia