Skip to Content

Antelope: Suni

Find, identify and discuss the animals of all the SANParks

Moderator: RosemaryH

User avatar
DuQues
Honorary Virtual Ranger
Honorary Virtual Ranger
Posts: 17941
Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2005 5:42 pm
Location: Red sand, why do I keep thinking of red sand?

Antelope: Suni

Unread postby DuQues » Tue Apr 26, 2005 12:09 pm

Suni antelope (Neotragus moschatus) - Africa's smallest antelope

Classification:
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Bovidae
Genus:Neotragus

Other names:
Afrikaans: Suni
French: Suni
German: Suni
Dutch: Suni
Portuguese: Suni

General Characteristics
Body Length: 57-62 cm
Shoulder Height: 33-38 cm
Tail Length: 8-13 cm
Weight: 4-6 kg

The general coat colour is reddish brown, with the back darker than the flanks and legs, and the head and muzzle reddish. The underparts, including the chin, throat, and insides of the legs, are white. There is a lighter ring around the eye. The legs are ringed with a black band just above the hooves. The wideset, black-coloured horns, borne only by males, are ridged for most of their length, and grow 6.5-13.3 cm long, slanting back in line with the face. The females are slightly larger and heavier than the males.

Gestation Period: About 6 months.
Young per Birth: 1
Weaning: About 2 months.
Sexual Maturity: 1-1.5 years.
Life span: Up to 10 years.
Most births occur from November to March. Slightly darker than adults, the young are kept hidden.

Habitat and activity
Dry woodland with thickets and underbrush, coastal forest and thickets, and riparian scrub and dry scrub along drainage areas are typical habitat types for suni antelope.
The suni is primarily active during the evening and night, sleeping the rest of the day in a shady, sheltered area. These shy antelope have excellent camouflage, which they use to their advantage. When danger starts to approach, the suni freezes, remaining hidden until the threat is nearly on top of them, at which point it leaps up and dodges around bushes and shrubs, quickly vanishing into the undergrowth.
Males defend territories of about 3 hectares, scent-marking the boundaries with preorbital gland secretions. On the peripheries of each defended area may be individual or communal dung piles. Each male generally associates with a single female, even if several others share his territory. Weak barking and sharp whistling have been reported.

Social Organization
Sightings of suni usually reveal solitary animals, pairs, or family groups consisting of a pair of animals and their offspring. They are generally thought to be monogamous animals.

Diet
Suni are browsers and feed on both fresh and fallen leaves as well as fallen and growing fruits of trees and shrubs. It is thought that suni are independent of drinking water and can obtain all necessary moisture from the food that they eat.

Enemies
All predators the size of the suni and up, including cats, birds of prey and snakes.

Zoo Programs
Suni have bred well in captivity but the original number of founders was limited, causing the genetic diversity of the captive population to be low. In 1988, studies on assisted reproduction in suni led to the first successful embryo transfer of this species. Captive breeding of suni antelope is also being done in South Africa at Tygerpark Zoo in Capetown.

Conservation
Efforts are being made in Zanzibar to protect the suni and other small antelope species. A release of captive-bred suni in South Africa was conducted at Kruger National Park. The most recent estimate on the total number of wild animals was 365,000 with the population considered to be stable although threatened in some regions.
Last edited by DuQues on Tue Apr 26, 2005 3:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Arriving currently: The photos from our trip! Overhere! :yaya:

Feel free to use any of these additional letters to correct the spelling of words found in the above post: a-e-t-n-d-i-o-s-m-l-u-y-h-c

gwendolen
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Posts: 5030
Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2005 5:57 pm

Unread postby gwendolen » Sun Apr 09, 2006 2:45 pm

Does anyone have a photo?

User avatar
MarkWildDog
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 862
Joined: Fri Dec 30, 2005 10:33 am

Unread postby MarkWildDog » Thu Jul 27, 2006 5:50 pm

Has anyone seen this rare antelope in Kruger :?:

User avatar
arks
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 4134
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2005 5:53 pm
Location: Cambridge, MA (and home from home in Darling, WC)

Unread postby arks » Wed Aug 09, 2006 1:29 pm

Mark, I maybe saw one in April, on the Dzundzwini Loop near Punda Maria. It was definitely a very, very small antelope, a lot smaller than, say, a steenbok, but I saw it only for a few seconds as it dashed off the road and into thick cover, so I really can't be 100% positive it was a suni, altho since it was so small, I'm fairly certain.
RSA 2015
1-30 June Darling
30 June-8 July National Arts Festival, Grahamstown
8-15 July Mountain Zebra
16-22 July Cape Town

User avatar
MarkWildDog
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 862
Joined: Fri Dec 30, 2005 10:33 am

Unread postby MarkWildDog » Wed Aug 09, 2006 1:34 pm

Great Arks :thumbs_up: It must of been one because they are patchilly found in the Punda Maria area. Great spotting Arks, the first forumite ever to spot the Suni. :clap:

User avatar
christo
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 653
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2005 3:28 pm
Location: Bloemfontein, RSA

Unread postby christo » Sun Aug 13, 2006 9:11 pm

I am also hesitant to claim a sighting, but saw one (Possibly) in the Pafuri area in 2004. The little one did not want to wait around for me to do a proper ID, but I guess I saw one.
To change ones life start immideately. Do it flamboyantly. No exceptions.

User avatar
MarkWildDog
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 862
Joined: Fri Dec 30, 2005 10:33 am

Unread postby MarkWildDog » Mon Aug 14, 2006 11:50 am

Christo, they are'nt foundd in the Pafuri area, you must have seen a Steenbok or something :wink:

User avatar
arks
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 4134
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2005 5:53 pm
Location: Cambridge, MA (and home from home in Darling, WC)

Unread postby arks » Mon Aug 14, 2006 2:00 pm

Given that Parfuri isn't that far from Punda Maria, it is certainly possible, even if rare or even unlikely. After all, the animals don't know about where they are and aren't supposed to be, so if they should happen to move into an area where they are not (heretofor) found — voila! :wink: :lol:
RSA 2015
1-30 June Darling
30 June-8 July National Arts Festival, Grahamstown
8-15 July Mountain Zebra
16-22 July Cape Town

User avatar
MarkWildDog
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 862
Joined: Fri Dec 30, 2005 10:33 am

Unread postby MarkWildDog » Mon Aug 14, 2006 3:14 pm

Maybe, Arks :hmz:

User avatar
christo
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 653
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2005 3:28 pm
Location: Bloemfontein, RSA

Unread postby christo » Wed Aug 16, 2006 5:28 pm

All due respect MC, but I've been around long enough to know a steenbok when I see one.

Never bet on an animal not occuring in an area. I know the rules are written down in books, but the animals cannot read.
To change ones life start immideately. Do it flamboyantly. No exceptions.

User avatar
Peter Betts
Posts: 966
Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2006 8:38 pm
Location: Port Elizabeth

Unread postby Peter Betts » Sun Aug 20, 2006 9:19 pm

Hi Arks Congratulations I think you can almost certainly say that you saw a Suni as the are around Punda but are more common I believe at Pafuri.... have a look at the Sharpe's Grysbok which is much bigger???
2009
Punda Maria Sept 27,28
Bateleur Sept 29,30 (free award)
Tamboti Oct 1,2,3,4
Biyamiti Oct 5,6,7,8

FGASA Local Area Guide

Nikon D700 FX, Nikkor 24-70 G f2.8, Nikkor 70-200VR f2.8, Nikkor 200-400 VR f4, Nikon 1.4 & 1.7 Convertors

User avatar
christo
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 653
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2005 3:28 pm
Location: Bloemfontein, RSA

Unread postby christo » Mon Aug 21, 2006 6:09 pm

No I've seen Grysbok a number of times over the years. I was also surprized at what I saw, but as the animal is so small and did not wait around for long, it was difficult to ID.

According to Frandsen in his book mammals of Southern Africa, suni does occur up to the Levhuvhu river, but is not spotted often.

Still dumbstruck, as it was neither steenbok, grysbok or baby duiker.
To change ones life start immideately. Do it flamboyantly. No exceptions.

User avatar
onewithnature
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Posts: 22177
Award: Quiz Whiz of the Year (2013)
Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2008 5:22 am
Location: Midway between the infinite and the infinitesimal!

Re: Antelope: Suni

Unread postby onewithnature » Wed Dec 24, 2008 3:37 am

One of my top to-see buck. My daughter would certainly cease speaking for a few minutes (a remarkable achievement) if she identified one. Besides the postings here, has anyone else seen this exceedingly reclusive mammal?
EVERYBODY'S TR!
TR: A NEW DAY IS S-OWN
TR: NECTAREAN NICETIES OF THE NORTH
TR: PRIMEVAL PLEASURE

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." (Groucho Marx)

Richprins

Re: Antelope: Suni

Unread postby Richprins » Thu Jan 01, 2009 4:49 pm

Harold Mockford had a tame Suni at his house at Pafuri in the 60s-70s (Not sure about the DATES), so they did occur there.

Attempts were made to reintroduce suni to the Park from KZN in the 80's, but they succumbed in their holding camp in Skukuza before being released.

I think a small Grysbok ewe would resemble a suni quite closely... :?

Suni have always been a marginal species in Kruger, and maybe no longer exist there, as their core populations in Mozambique may have been eaten during the civil war there!

Anyway, who knows! :D

User avatar
onewithnature
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Posts: 22177
Award: Quiz Whiz of the Year (2013)
Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2008 5:22 am
Location: Midway between the infinite and the infinitesimal!

Re: Antelope: Suni

Unread postby onewithnature » Sun Apr 12, 2009 4:19 am

:cry: :cry:

Still, I believe somone (myself?) will see one and post it here sometime. :pray: :pray: :pray:
EVERYBODY'S TR!
TR: A NEW DAY IS S-OWN
TR: NECTAREAN NICETIES OF THE NORTH
TR: PRIMEVAL PLEASURE

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." (Groucho Marx)


Return to “Mammals”