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Bate's Dwarf Antelope



Bate's Dwarf Antelope
Order: Artiodactyla, Family: Bovidae

The Bate's dwarf antelope occurs throughout the lowland forest zone from southeastern Nigeria to western Uganda.



I. GEOGRAPHIC RANGE
  • The Bate's dwarf antelope occurs throughout the lowland forest zone from southeastern Nigeria to western Uganda.
II. PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS
  • Mass: 2 to 3 kg.
  • Bate's dwarf antelopes are very small antelopes. Body length ranges between 500 and 575 mm, with a tail length of 45 to 50 mm. Males are only slightly larger, on average, than females.
  • Dwarf antelope males possess horns that extend back over their head on the same plane as the face. These horns are usually brown or fawn in color and are about 38 to 50 mm long.
  • The coat is a shiny dark chestnut on the back, becoming lighter toward the flanks.
III. FOOD HABITS
  • The Bate's dwarf antelope's diet consists of leaves, buds, shoots, fungus and limited amounts of grasses and herbs.
  • They also eat human food crops such as peanuts in areas where humans have intruded into their natural habitats. They are often caught in snares surrounding agricultural fields.
IV. REPRODUCTION
  • Mating occurs throughout the year with peaks in the late dry and early wet seasons.
  • The gestation period of the Bate's dwarf antelope is thought to be 180 days. One young is born per gestation with a birth weight of between 1.6 and 2.4 kg.
V. BEHAVIOR
  • Bate's dwarf antelopes have a typical home range of 2 to 4 hectares. Males are territorial, marking their territory with scent that is produced in the pre-orbital glands. Females are not as territorial as the males and are sometimes found in small groups.
  • Males emit a nasal call when seeking females and both sexes often make a short, raspy bark when fleeing.
VI. HABITAT
  • The Bate's dwarf antelope is most often found in moist forest and brush.
VII. ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE FOR HUMANS
  • Positive
    The meat of the Bate's dwarf antelope is edible, although quite dry. They are not often hunted for meat but, in some cases, farmers will kill and eat limited numbers.
  • Negative
    Bate's dwarf antelopes are known to eat crops such as peanuts. The overall economic damage from this is minimal.
      VIII. CONSERVATION
      • The biggest current threat to the Bate's dwarf antelope is human expansion. The loss of habitat due to clearing for farmland could have a very negative effect on their populations in the future.



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