The lesser kudu (Tragelaphus imberbis) is a large antelope with 11 to 14 white stripes running down its back sides, standing out on a greyish-brown coat for males and a reddish-brown coat for females.
It has facial markings consisting of black stripes running from each eye towards the nose and a white line from each eye to the centre of the face. Legs are fawn-coloured, with white spots above the hooves, and two white spots adorn either side of the neck.
Impressive spiralled horns adorn the male’s head twisted 2.5 times and can grow up to (60 to 105 centimetres) long.
This dry-country antelope is similar to the greater kudu but much smaller and more heavily striped; the greater kudu has between six and ten stripes; the lesser kudu has eleven to fourteen.
Lesser Kudu Habitat
Lesser kudu resides in the arid and semi-arid areas of northeastern Africa, including parts of Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Sudan, Uganda (in Pian Upe Game Reserve) and Tanzania.
Scrublands and woodlands comprise most of this territory, primarily avoiding open spaces and long grasses. This species has been documented foraging at 5,700 feet (1740 meters) near Mount Kilimanjaro.
Interestingly, when startled, the lesser kudu emits a bark vocalization, which warns others of potential predators.
They are mostly nocturnal animals feeding primarily at dusk and dawn and eat a wide array of leaves, shrubs, twigs, grasses, herbs and roots. They will seek shelter and security in dense thickets by sunrise.
This striking antelope inhabit the traditionally dry area and have adapted to be independent of primary water sources, instead hydrating from the moisture collected in leaves.
Females form groups of two or three, but males generally remain solitary, occasionally forming small bachelor groups. However, territorial behaviour is nonexistent; no natural hierarchical groups have been documented, and there is rare fighting, usually around mating time.
A lesser kudu will live 10 to 15 years in the wild and up to 20 years in human care. Lesser Kudu (Tragelaphus imberbis) was most recently assessed for The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and is listed as Near Threatened.