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Duiker (Common)

The Common Duiker

The common duiker, also known as the grey or bush duiker, is a small antelope found in everywhere in Africa south of the Sahara, excluding the Horn of Africa and the rainforests of the central and western parts of the continent.

Generally, they are found in habitats with sufficient vegetation cover to allow them to hide—savanna and hilly areas, including the fringes of human settlements.

Behavior

Breeding is year round and the female gives birth to one fawn after a gestation period of 6 to 7.5 months. The common duiker has a wide diet; beyond herbivorous browsing for leaves, flowers, fruits and tubers, they will also eat insects, frogs, small birds and mammals, and even carrion. As long as they have vegetation to eat (from which they get some water), they can go without drinking for very long periods. In the rainy season, they will frequently not drink water at all, instead obtaining fluids from fruits. They will often scavenge for these fruits below trees in which monkeys are feeding. They are active both day and night, but become more nocturnal near human settlements.

Males are territorial and smear gland secretions on rocks and branches to mark their territories; their preferred resting places are generally on elevated ground, where they can observe their territory. Females, by contrast, prefer deeper cover. The overall success of this species stems from its ability to inhabit a wide variety of habitats, as well as from its adaptable, generalist diet.