Mammals

Photo credit: The Cape Leopard Trust

Sylvicapra grimmia

Common Name: Common Duiker
Family: Bovidae
Description: A small antelope with horns (11cm) only occurring on the males. There are as many as 19 sub-species and their colour depends on where they are found; chestnut colour in forested areas, grizzled grey in northern savannahs and light brown in arid regions. Duiker generally grow to about 50 cm in height weighing about 12 to 25 kg, females tend to be larger and heavier than males.
Distribution: Wide range across Africa, south of the Sahara. Habitats preferred with sufficient vegetation cover within savannah and hilly areas including the fringes of human settlements. Since the removal of the internal fences, this antelope’s distribution now extends higher up the slopes of the mountain.
Diet: Browse a variety of plants but will also eat insects, fruit, seeds, pods, bark and fungi. As long as they have vegetation to eat (from which they get some water), they can go without drinking for very long periods.
Behaviour: Breeding is year round and females give birth to one fawn after a gestation period between 3 to 7 months. Males are territorial and smear gland secretions on rocks and branches to mark their territories.
Conservation Status: Least Concern
Interesting Fact: The Helderberg Nature Reserve has two Duiker, Rusk and Fritter, who were hand raised in the reserve after being abandoned by their parents. Both can still be spotted in the lower regions of the reserve as well as along night walks.