Where do bushbucks live?
Bushbucks are forest-edge antelopes. They live in various habitats, including rain forests, montane forests, forest-savanna mosaics, and bush savannas.
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What is a bushbuck?
Bushbucks are antelopes with geometrically shaped white patches or spots on the most mobile parts of the body—the ears, chin, tail, legs, and neck. Males have horns, which are between 10 to 20 inches long and grow straight back. At 10 months, young males sprout horns that are strongly twisted and at maturity, form the first loop of a spiral.
If water is scarce, bushbucks can survive on dew.
Bushbucks need some water but can subsist on dew if necessary. Foods vary in different habitats, with leguminous herbs and shrubs making up most of the diet. They may also eat grass, fallen fruit, acacia pods, tubers, bark, and flowers.
They do not commit to relationships.
Bushbucks are basically solitary animals. Most group associations, except for a female and her latest young, are very temporary and only last a few hours or days. These antelopes have small home ranges, which may overlap with those of other bushbucks. Even so, there still is not much contact, as adult individuals prefer to stay by themselves in their separate areas. Mature males usually go out of their way to avoid contact with each other. They are also not territorial but will defend an area inhabited by a female in heat.
Females go to great lengths to hide their young.
After giving birth, the mother cleans and hides the newborn calf. When she visits and suckles it, she eats its dung so no scent remains to attract predators. The young calf does not accompany its mother for long periods during the day until it is about 4 months old. A female and her calf often play together, running in circles chasing each other.
They are not confrontational.
Usually most active during early morning and part of the night, bushbucks become almost entirely nocturnal in areas where they are apt to be disturbed frequently during the day. When alarmed, individuals react in a variety of ways. If they are in forest or thick bush, they may freeze in one position and remain very still, allowing their coloring to camouflage them. Sometimes, they will sink to the ground and lie flat, or they may bound away, making a series of hoarse barks. When surprised in the open, they sometimes stand still or slowly walk to the nearest cover.