BLACKBUCK/Behaviour, Distribution, Habitat, Size, Weight, IUCN stetus


DESCRIPTION: An endemic antelope exclusive to the Indian subcontinent, the beauty of the Blackbuck is glorified in many cultures. Adult males are dark brown to velvet black with white undersides, buttocks, legs, eye rings, nose and lower muzzle. Females and young are fawn or tan above and white below, with white eye rings. First- and second-year males attain a darker reddish colour. By the endof the third year, males attain a dark colouration and the trademark spiralled horns that can vary from having one to four spirals. The dark colouration is connected to testosterone levels and so immature males and some mature males may not achieve the jet-black pelage. In A.c. cervicapra, the body size is smaller, the pelage finer, a rufous leg stripe is conspicuous through the length of the leg, the white eye ring is narrow, the horns are shorter, more open spiralled and less divergent, the male more dark brown than black, and the females ruddy. In A.c. rajputanae the body size is bigger, the pelage coarser, the dark leg stripe is absent or badly marked on the shanks, the eye ring is broad, the horns are longer, more tightly coiled and divergent, and the female is fawn coloured.

BEHAVIOUR: During rut the male walks in a mincing gait, with its tail curled upward, its ears drooping and horns held parallel to its back. When alarmed, the Blackbuck leaps up as if on a spring .

DISTRIBUTION: Found in 80–100 fragmented populations in northern India, from Rajasthan in the west to Punjab in the north down to Tamil Nadu in the south and Odisha in the east. A.c. rajputanae can be found in Rajasthan and Gujarat, and A.c. cervicapra occurs west and south of Delhi, up to Pt. Calimere, Tamil Nadu, in the south. Does not occur in Kerala and the North–East.

HABITAT: Short grassland, open salt pans and open scrub. Found also in deciduous forest fringes, tall grass chaurs, riverbanks and in arid areas, but avoids hills.

Size: 70–150 cm, 

Wt: 34–45 kg

IUCN Status: Near Threatened


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