Indian blackbuck

Antilope cervicapra

Common name:

Indian blackbuck

Scientific name:

Antilope cervicapra

Alternative common names:

Antilope cervicapre (French), cervicapra (Spanish). 

The Indian blackbuck is a gregarious species. It is primarily a grazer, feeding mainly on grasses, although it eats other plants depending on seasonal availability. It is preyed upon by a number of species, including wolves and leopards, and relies mainly on its speed in order to escape. 

Additional Info

  • Where does this species come from?

    India.

    What is its invasive status in South Africa?

    NEMBA Category 2.

    Where in South Africa is it a problem?

    Eastern Cape.

    How does it spread?

    They escape from farms.

    Why is it a problem?

    Indian blackbuck feed on agricultural crops, notably cereals such as millet and sorghum. They are considered a nuisance by farmers because of their dietary preferences, which often result in major decreases in farmers' profits.

    What does it look like?

    Description: The adult male Indian blackbuck has a black and white coat; the upper part of the body is black while the underparts are white. The coat turns darker when they reach maturity. There is a white ring around the eyes. Males have 61cm-long horns, which are twisted in a tight spiral and weigh about 39kg. Females and and the young are light brown. The females do not have horns. Indian blackbuck can run as fast as 80km per hour and are one of the fastest animals in the world. Habitat: Indian blackbuck live on open plains, grasslands and dry thorn and scrub lands. They live in herds of 20- 30. Breeding: Mating occurs throughout the year, with the most rutting activity in March to April and August to October. During the rut, the mature male establishes a territory by regularly depositing faeces in particular places. Males are extremely aggressive during this time and drive all other males from their territory with throaty grunts and occasional horn fights. The gestation period is about six months, and usually a single young is born. The young are able to run about soon after birth.