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 Post subject: Do impala pronk?
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2005 8:57 pm 
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I read in a mag, (which I wont name seeing as I have put them on the spot already), that impala do not pronk. But, have seen them jump vertically in the air, backs arched, back and front hooves almost touching. Is this not pronking?


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Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2005 9:05 pm 
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I've also seen impala do this but apparently only springbok pronk :?


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 Post subject: Impala
Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 5:12 pm 
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Hi all
I would like some comments about the following behaviour on Impalas in KNP recently.
Impalas are my favourite animal in the Park, for various reasons... i think because they are often so under-rated regarding their interest factor and beauty.... 8) ... however

with all the recent heavy roads, the gravel roads are pretty waterlogged, with water leaching up everywhere. Now, as it gets hot, and the day sunny, the impalas - all sexes and ages -are getting onto the roads and laying down in whole herds, just about. It is most strange! They are lying in the wet and moist sand patches, and make driving in certain areas really frustrating... they wont move in hurry either!
It is as if they are cooling off their bodies by lying on the moist
gravel on their white bellies. I go to the park really often, and never really noticed this behaviour in the mass action "sit in" that is occurring. :?

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 5:42 pm 
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I also noticed that 3 weeks ago, they just did not want to move, never seen anything like it before, I would also like to know if anyone has any idea why?
Don't you just love these little horns, one day he may be the boss man :)
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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 9:17 pm 
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Impies are the buffer species in the park, without them there would be no park, but these were mostly young ones that were lying in the road not ones ready for breeding, but it may have something to do with the rutting season, hope someone can enlighten us.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 11:15 pm 
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Impalas tend to rest/rumminate from around 10ish till just after noon , diggesting there breakfast :) .The animals within the heard tend to all follow the same cycle of eating and rumminating periods , so that is why they all lie down at the same time.

They preffer to lie in an open area when resting up , which gives predators such as leopard less of a chance to sneak up on them , although they generally prefer to do it in the shade .

I suppose with all the rain , most of there usual open ground resting spots are now overgrown , so they find the road the safest bet in there area .

I dont know if the very moist green grass is harder to digest , so warming there tummys up a bit in the sun may well speed up the process , anyone know ?


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Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2006 12:19 am 
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I think Bucky pretty much nailed it! :D

I would however speculate that they are not lying down to warm up their tummys, but to cool down, since they are lying in the moist/wet areas.

As we all know it can get very hot in Kruger and animals tend to rest in the shade. However, given the recent rain, a nice wet peace of earth would do the same. :wink:

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2006 7:56 am 
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Thanks for your replies and comments.
I agree with the cooling theory, as they are picking wet, moist patches of road, sticking to the gravel like big brown Ticks! Yes, most are ruminating, have a good jaw session.... but

All ages, in mixed herds are lying on the roads. So not sure if sexual behaviour is a role player here.

Look forward to more ideas to understand these roadblocks on legs.... before i play ten pin bowling with them :lol:

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KNP: 03 Jan to 12 Jan 14 (Berg n Dal, PKop, Croc Bridge)
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KNP 16 July to 26 July 14 (Croc Bridge, Tamboti, L Sabie )


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue May 09, 2006 2:49 pm 
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Impala (Aepyceros melampus)

Class Mammalia
Order Artiodactyla
Family Bovidae
Subfamily Aepycerotinae
Species Aepyceros melampus

Traditionally taxonomists recognize six subspecies, including:
South African impala (Aepyceros melampus melampus) - Southeast Angola south
Malawi impala (A. m. johnstoni) - North Mozambique, Malawi, East Zambia
Katanga impala (A. m. katangaei) - Southeast Congo
Black-faced impala (A. m. petersi) - Southwest Angola, Southwest Africa
Kenyan impala (A. m. rendilis) - Kenya, Uganda
Tanzanian impala (A. m. suara) - Tanzania, Rwanda

Geographic Range
The impala is found from northeast South Africa to Angola, south Zaire, Rwanda, Uganda,and Kenya.

Habitat
The impala is found in woodland which contains little undergrowth and low to medium height grassland. Also a close source of water is desired, however is not needed when there is abundance of grass.

Physical Description
Impala are sexually dimorphic. In this species only the males have S shaped horns that are 45-91.7 cm long. These horns are heavily ridged, thin, and the tips lie far apart. Both sexes are similarly colored with red-brown hair which pales on the sides. The underside of the belly, chin, lips, inside ears, the line over the eye, and tail are white. There are black stripes down the tail, foreheard, both thighs, and eartips. These black stripes might aid in recognition between individuals. Aepyceros melampus also have scent glands on their rear feet beneath patches of black hair as well as sebaceous glands on the forehead.

Reproduction
Female impalas are reproductively mature and conceive at 1.5 years. Males have the ability to breed at age 1, but often do not establish territories until age 4. Reproduction is closely linked to annual rainfall. In equatorial Africa breeding is continuous throughout the year and births occur in all months. In East Africa, birth peaks are associated with the two rainy seasons in March and November. In southern Africa there is a peak in mating from April - June and a single well-defined birth peak occurring during the single wet season. Gestation is 194-200 days. Males test the females' urine to detect estrous. (The estrous cycle is 12-29 days and lasts 24 - 48 hours.) The male then roars, snorts, or low stretches to advertise himself. After chasing the female, the male may show behaviors such as nodding and tongue flicking before copulation.
The female impalas isolate themselves before calving. Calving usually occurs in the midday. Usually there is only one calf. The mother and calf will rejoin the herd after 1-2 days. Impalas place the young in creches which are groups of young that play, groom, and move together. Growth is extremely rapid, with weaning occurring in 5-7 months. Both sexes are independent in less than a year. Males are physiologically capable of reproduction at 13 months and females may conceive at 18 months.

Behavior
Impala are diurnal and spend the night ruminating and lying down. The peak activity times for social activity and herd movement are shortly after dawn and before dusk.
Impala have different social structures depending on the season. The average size of the female herd is between 15-100 individuals depending on space available. Females live in clans within a home range of 80-180 ha. During the wet season the ranges are heavily defended, but during the dry season there is much overlap between individuals in the clan and even between different clans. There are slight differences between behavior in southern and eastern impala. Southern impala are more likely to intermix during the dry season, while eastern impala will remain more territrorial during the dry season.
Impala form distinct social groups during the wet season. Three main organizations are found: territorial males with and without breeding females, bachelor herds of non-territorial adult and juvenile males, and breeding herds of females and juveniles (including young males less than 4 years). During the dry season, males can be found together or mixed with female herds.
The male impala changes its territory to match the season. During the breeding season the male keeps a much smaller territory which is heavily defended. The males will imprint on their original territory and always come back to that same territory to declare dominance.
The male impala uses a variety of techniques to defend its territory (including keeping females). Tail-raising, forehead marking, forehead rubbing, herding, chsing, erect posture, fighting, and roaring are used.
Aepyceros melampus uses various antipredatory techniques as well. The most common is to take flight and outrun or confuse the predator. Commonly impala will leap up or 3 meters in the air. They often leap up or out in any direction to confuse the predator. Another unique characteristic of leaping is when impala land on their front legs and kick the back legs into the air.

Food Habits
Impala are ruminants. The upper incisors and canines are absent and the cheek teeth are folded and sharply ridged. Impala are intermediate feeders. While predominately a grazer, the impala will adapt to any amount of grass and browse. The ration of grass to browse varies from season to season and place to place. Impala are primarily grazers during the rainy season but the amount of grass ingested drops to 30% in the dry season when they enter in the woodlands and browse on shrubs, herbs, pods and seeds. The diet of impala in northwestern Zimbabwe has been reported to change from 94% grass in the wet season to 69% herbs and woody browse in the dry season.

Predation
Impala are taken by a number of predators: hyenas, leopards, wild dogs, lions and cheetahs, as well as some snakes. Fawns are small enough to be carried off by martial eagles.

Conservation Status
The Blackfaced Impala, Aepyceros melampus petersi, which lives in Southwest Angola and northern Namibia, is listed as endangered by the IUCN. Pressure resulting from habitat loss and damage have been linked to the decline in their numbers.
The "normal" impala is not endangered.

Source 1 and source 2

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue May 09, 2006 3:55 pm 
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Some of my Impala photos. I think they are maybe some of the most under estimated photos subjects as most of us just drive them by without even waving

164 K………....………………………………………227 K
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143 K
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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2006 8:58 am 
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Check out these horns!! This is the biggest I ever saw in the park. Couldn't get a frontal pic.
This was on the plains @ Afsaal.

Image

Lets see if there are bigger horns in Kruger.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2006 5:24 pm 
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Don't suppose these are any bigger?


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 Post subject: Impala Lambs
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 1:02 pm 
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When do you Forumites think the Impalas will give birth this year?
Last year was quite late in November. I think they will pop earlier this year as the veld is in a good condition.
Think the Impies will wait for the first good summer rains.
I think we will see baby Impies end of October.

Any comments or opinions?


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 1:16 pm 
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Nope, the birthing season depends on the rutting season (May).

At best you can hope for mid November I would say. The myth is that Impies can hold back their birthing depending on predator and veld conditions. Although they can hold it back for maximum a few hours, it is not true that they can witheld it for days.

Impala gestation period is set at 196-200 days. So when did the rut start??

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 2:03 pm 
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I still beleive that Impala can hold back the birth for a few days. But if the rains don't come in time they will then let go of the babies and most of them won't make it if the veld is in a poor condition or in drought.


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