Both the bontebok and blesbok are grazing antelopes that spend their day feeding on short grass. They are less active during the hotter midday hours and routinely stand in groups facing the sun, frequently nodding their lowered heads (4). Bontebok adult males defend territories all year round (5), marking them with dung and urine (2), and chasing away any intruding males from large bachelor herds of young males that roam at will (5). Small nursery herds of two to eight females and their young commonly remain with the same territorial male all year round, which is an interesting feature of bontebok territoriality (6). The territorial males encourage any passing females to stay by carrying out a special sexual display (5). Blesboks have a similar social structure to the bontebok, with a few noticeable differences. Nursery herds are generally larger, consisting of up to 25 females (2), and adult males do not maintain their territories during winter and spring. During this cold, dry season very large mixed-age groups of up to 650 animals may be formed. In order to conserve energy during this period of scarce food, there is little activity of any kind (5). Bonteboks mate between January and March (5), with lambs being born from September to October (4), while blesbok mating peaks in April (2), and most lambs are born from November to January (4). Both subspecies have an eight month gestation period and their young are up and mobile within an hour or two of birth. Females mature in about two years and can live for up to 17 years (2)
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