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Dorcatragus

    The following eight subspecies are identified:[1][7][8]

  • O. o. dorcas Schwarz, 1914
  • O. o. gallarum Blaine, 1913
  • O. o. haggardi (Colin Groves and Peter Grubb identify O. o. hastata, O. o. montana, O. o. ourebi and O. o. quadriscopa as independent species in their 2011 publication Ungulate Taxonomy.[9]

    Description

    The oribi is a small, slender antelope; it reaches nearly 50–67 centimetres (20–26 in) at the shoulder and weighs 12–22 kilograms (26–49 lb). The head-and-body length is typically between 92 and 110 centimetres (36 and 43 in).[10] Sexually dimorphic, males are slightly smaller than females (except for O. o. ourebi, in which females are smaller).[9] This antelope features a slightly raised back, and long neck and limbs. The glossy, yellowish to rufous brown coat contrasts with the white chin, throat, underparts and rump. The bushy tail, brown to black on the outside, has white insides[5][11] (except in O. o. hastata, that has a completely black tail). The subspecies show some variation in colouration; O. o. ourebi is a rich rufous, while O. o. hastata is yellower.[9]

    Only males possess horns

    The oribi is a small, slender antelope; it reaches nearly 50–67 centimetres (20–26 in) at the shoulder and weighs 12–22 kilograms (26–49 lb). The head-and-body length is typically between 92 and 110 centimetres (36 and 43 in).[10] Sexually dimorphic, males are slightly smaller than females (except for O. o. ourebi, in which females are smaller).[9] This antelope features a slightly raised back, and long neck and limbs. The glossy, yellowish to rufous brown coat contrasts with the white chin, throat, underparts and rump. The bushy tail, brown to black on the outside, has white insides[5][11] (except in O. o. hastata, that has a completely black tail). The subspecies show some variation in colouration; O. o. ourebi is a rich rufous, while O. o. hastata is yellower.[9]

    Only males possess horns; the thin, straight horns, 8–18 centimetres (3.1–7.1 in) long, are smooth at the tips and ringed at the base.[5]Only males possess horns; the thin, straight horns, 8–18 centimetres (3.1–7.1 in) long, are smooth at the tips and ringed at the base.[5][11] The maximum horn length, 19.1 centimetres (7.5 in), was recorded in 1998 from Malawi.[8] The oribi has at least six different, well-developed scent glands (such as the prominent preorbital glands near the eyes). The body has several modifications, such as the large fossae below the eyes, to accommodate such a large number of glands.[3] Females have four teats.[12]

    The oribi is diurnal (active mainly during the day), though some activity may also be observed at night.[12] It rests in cover during rain events. Unlike all other small antelopes, oribi can exhibit three types of mating systems, depending on the habitat – polyandry, polygyny and polygynandry;[3] polygyny tends to prevail as the female-to-male ratio increases.[13] A study suggested that polygyny is preferred in areas of high predator risk, as it leads to formation of groups as an anti-predator measure.[14] Small herds of up to four members are also common.[11]

    Males defend their group's territory, 25–100 hectares (62–247 acres) large; female members may also show some aggression and drive away intruders. A study showed that the number of females that visit the male's territory depends on the appearance (particularly the symmetry) of the male's horns.[15] Males mark vegetation and soil in their territories by preorbital gland secretions and excrement; the intensity of marking increases with the number of male neighbours.[16][17] Dominant males tend to have greater access to females in and around the territory than other males.[18] An important feature of the social behaviour of oribi is the "dung ceremony", in which all animals form temporary dung middens. Oribi at least three months old have been observed giving out one to three alarm whistles on sensing danger. These whistles are more common in adults than in juveniles, and males

    Males defend their group's territory, 25–100 hectares (62–247 acres) large; female members may also show some aggression and drive away intruders. A study showed that the number of females that visit the male's territory depends on the appearance (particularly the symmetry) of the male's horns.[15] Males mark vegetation and soil in their territories by preorbital gland secretions and excrement; the intensity of marking increases with the number of male neighbours.[16][17] Dominant males tend to have greater access to females in and around the territory than other males.[18] An important feature of the social behaviour of oribi is the "dung ceremony", in which all animals form temporary dung middens. Oribi at least three months old have been observed giving out one to three alarm whistles on sensing danger. These whistles are more common in adults than in juveniles, and males appear to whistle more.[3][11] Common predators include carnivorans such as jackals.[19]

    Primarily a grazer, the oribi prefers fresh grasses and browses occasionally. Grasses can constitute up to 90% of the diet; preferred varieties include Andropogon, Eulalia, Hyparrhenia, Loudetia, Pennisetum and Themeda species. Mineral licks are also visited regularly. Oribi have been observed feeding on flowers and Boletus mushrooms. Groups of oribi congregate in the rainy season, when grasses are abundant.[3][10]

    Reproduction

    The oribi has been classified as Least Concern by the IUCN. The total population (as of 2008) is estimated at 750,000.

    This antelope is highly sporadic in distribution; it occurs mainly in eastern, southern and western Africa, ranging from Nigeria and Senegal in the west to Ethiopia and Eritrea in the east and southward to Angola and the Eastern Cape (South Africa).[21] It is feared to be extinct in Burundi.[22]

    The oribi has been classified as Least Concern by the IUCN. The total population (as of 2008) is estimated at 750,000.[1] However, the subspecies O. o. haggardi is listed as Vulnerable because, as of 2008, the total population is estimated at less than 10,000 mature individuals, and is feared to be declining. Hunting is a relatively minor threat, since the oribi shows some tolerance to hunting. Nevertheless, the steep fall of 92% in oribi populations in Comoé National Park (Côte d'Ivoire) has been attributed to poaching. Numbers have also declined due to agricultural expansion and competition from livestock.[1][22]

    The oribi occurs in a number of protected areas throughout its range, such as: Gashaka Gumti National Park in Nigeria, the Pendjari and The oribi occurs in a number of protected areas throughout its range, such as: Gashaka Gumti National Park in Nigeria, the Pendjari and W National Parks (Benin); Aouk Hunting Zone (Chad); Benoue, Bouba Njida and Faro National Parks (Cameroon); Manovo-Gounda St. Floris National Park (Central African Republic); Garamba, Upemba and Kundelungu National Parks (Congo-Kinshasa); Omo National Park (Ethiopia); Masai Mara Game Reserve and Ruma National Park (Kenya); Golden Gate Highlands National Park (South Africa); Serengeti National Park (Tanzania); Kidepo Valley, Lake Mburo and Murchison Falls National Parks (Uganda); Kafue and Liuwa Plain National Parks and Bangweulu Swamp (Zambia).[1][22]