Grey rhebok

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Southern Grey Rhebok
Grey Rhebok (Pelea capreolus) (32453042900).jpg
A male at the Bontebok National Park, Western Cape, South Africa,
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Bovidae
Genus: Pelea
Gray, 1851
Species:
P. capreolus
Binomial name
Pelea capreolus
(Forster, 1790)

The grey rhebok or grey rhebuck (Pelea capreolus), locally known as the reebok in Afrikaans, is a species of antelope native to South Africa, Lesotho, and Eswatini (Swaziland). The specific name capreolus is Latin for 'little goat'.

Contents

Description

A female at the San Diego Zoo Vaal Rhebok.jpg
A female at the San Diego Zoo
Male grey rhebok browsing Grey Rhebok 2017 08 22 5546.jpg
Male grey rhebok browsing

The grey rhebok is a medium-sized antelope weighing 19–30 kg (42–66 lb) with a long neck and narrow ears. The coat is short and dense and coloured in various shades of grey. Only the males carry horns, which are straight, sharp, ringed at the base, and around 15–25 cm (6–10 in) long. [2]

Distribution and habitat

Generally confined to the higher areas of Southern Africa, they typically inhabit grassy, montane habitats - for example, sourveld - usually 1000 m above sea level, and carry a woolly grey coat to insulate them from the cold. They are not strictly limited to this habitat as they can be found in the coastal belt of the Cape, almost at sea level. [2]

Reproduction and behaviour

The grey rhebok is territorial and maintains its territory by urinating and defecating, standing or walking in an upright posture, and patrolling. Males become extremely aggressive during the breeding season. The grey rhebok usually aggregates in herds of one to 15 females and young and one mature male. This species is therefore polygynous. The grey rhebok is a seasonal breeder, [2] with mating taking place between January and April. Females are pregnant for about seven months, and give birth to a single calf in late spring and summer (November to January in the Southern Hemisphere).

This species is a browser, and gets most of its water from the food it eats, so it can utilize food sources a long distance from standing water. [1]

Conservation status

The grey rhebok is listed as Near Threatened, [1] with the population estimated to be at least 2,000 individuals in protected areas and perhaps as many as 18,000 in unprotected areas. The uncertainty regarding the exact number is due to extensive areas of the species' range not having been surveyed or where estimates are unavailable.

In contemporary culture

The Afrikaans spelling of the species, reebok (a mature male ree), lends its name to the British-American sportswear manufacturing company Reebok. [3] which in 1958 one of the founder's grandsons, Joe Foster, found the name in a Afrikaans South African dictionary which he won in a running race as aboy. Afrikaans is one of South Africa's 11 official languages.

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References

  1. 1 2 3 Taylor, A., Cowell, C. & Drouilly, M. 2017. Pelea capreolus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T16484A50192715. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-2.RLTS.T16484A50192715.en.
  2. 1 2 3 Estes, Richard Despard (28 March 2012). The Behaviour Guide to African Mammals. University of California Press. p. 111. ISBN   978-0-520-27297-2.
  3. "Reebok". Sneakers: brands. 7 May 2008. Archived from the original on 7 May 2008.