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Antelope: Waterbuck

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Tamara
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Antelope: Waterbuck

Unread post by Tamara » Wed May 04, 2005 4:34 pm

I was just wondering:

When I was in Kruger october 2003 for about 6 days I didn't see even a single waterbuck in the whole KNP.
During our trip in April 2005 (10 days) I saw about 150 waterbucks at several places. How come? Is it the time of year??? Are the re-introduced in the KNP or was I just blind in 2003?

Tamara

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Jock
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Unread post by Jock » Wed May 04, 2005 4:47 pm

Reading up on Waterbuck, they do have territories, so maybe you were just lucky this time to see so many. We have always seen them but never 150. They also stay within 2km of water so maybe you spent more time near rivers etc this trip.
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Unread post by Jock » Wed May 04, 2005 5:23 pm

Tamara got me reading about waterbuck and I have found some interesting facts about them I thought I would share with ya all.

Mainly a grazer, with a preference for long grass; some browsing when grass is low in protein. Also eats marulas, and in Hwange NP in winter eats baboon droppings.
Gestation 280 days. Single baby (rarely twins) born throughout year. Lifespan 11 years
Most active in the early morning and late afternoon; also feeds at night. Usually in herds of 6 - 12, sometimes up to 30, herds tend to be bigger in summer. Females and young form nursery herds, mature bulls are territorial, males without territory form bachelor herds.
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Unread post by Meg » Wed May 04, 2005 5:44 pm

Fascinating creatures aren't they! On a night drive once the guide told us that they actually use the water to escape from lion. They run into a river, find a suitable spot to stand, and then rely on the fact that lion don't really enjoy getting wet.

With incredible luck the next day we stopped to get out and enjoy the view over the Olifants river - and there witnessed exactly this behaviour! The waterbuck ended up standing on one of the islands and the lion didn't follow them in. Of course, this does bring a certain amount of risk, in particular for the youngsters, from crocodiles. But that day the family stayed in tact and the lion eventually sauntered off back into the shade.
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Tabs
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Unread post by Tabs » Wed May 04, 2005 10:53 pm

Nice facts Jock - thanks. In addition to this I was told (at eco-training) that some predators only take waterbuck as a opportunistic option as their meat is quite sour and unpalatable.

I don't know how accurate this information is though!

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Unread post by Krokodile » Wed May 04, 2005 11:00 pm

My understanding is that the waterbuck has oil glands located at certain parts of its body, which give off a strong odour and taste. Waterbuck meat is quite edible if you can avoid these glands - may be a little more difficult for a wild animal to avoid than a human equipped with a sharp knife!

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Unread post by Tabs » Wed May 04, 2005 11:13 pm

Thanks Krokodile - I could not recall exactly why some predators avoided waterbuck but now that you mention it, I do remember.... and you are correct.

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Unread post by bucky » Thu Aug 24, 2006 3:40 pm

They are very water dependant , and even run into the water to avoid predators .
I have seen them do this with wild dog after them .

Everyone who has said they didnt see any , will notice that is during rainy months , and those that saw plenty where during dry months .

During summer they may move further away from there winter territories into seasonal pans and rivers .
There numbers are limited by the amount of winter time water availability , and territory space .

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Unread post by Donn1nger_69 » Sun Aug 27, 2006 9:17 pm

Over the past 3 years I have noticed that transport dam has a herd of about 50 waterbuck seen them there every time with out exception.

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bert
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Unread post by bert » Mon Aug 28, 2006 2:31 pm

During my recent trip always at the Nsemani dam (satara),
and on the S100

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Unread post by Elsa » Wed Aug 30, 2006 9:53 pm

In February this year we sat at Transport Dam and waited with bated breath and cameras at the ready while a Water Buck cow tried to bring her tiny calf out of the bush through the car park to meet up with the rest of the herd.
She was extremely nervous and as she was about to step out into the open, right behind our car, another car came down and she fled back into the bush. :(
What made it even more frustrating was the other car only stayed 30 seconds and roared off again. :evil:
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Unread post by wildtuinman » Thu Aug 31, 2006 7:16 am

Smallest waterbuck calf I have seen was @ Orpen dam in '95. Only saw it briefly as it and it's mother came down to have a drink. A huge croc was patrolling the drinking area. We all waited for action.

Next minute a leopard jumped out of a bush and grabbed the calf by the throat. That was it! Good night nurse.

Was a tad sad though to hear the mother call for the calf as the dappled one dragged it off.
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Unread post by Wild about cats » Sat Sep 23, 2006 10:01 am

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Unread post by richardharris » Sun Mar 04, 2007 7:14 pm

Seen this February having a bit of a spat.

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Taken from Kanniedood birdhide.

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http://www.pbase.com/richardharris/february_2007&page=1

more photos / larger versions here

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Elsa
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Unread post by Elsa » Mon Mar 05, 2007 10:51 am

Yikes, and those horns look like they could do a fair bit of damage to the 2 combatants. :shock:
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