IUCN threat status:

Least Concern (LC)

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Biology

The Cape grysbok is mainly nocturnal and relies on an acute sense of smell, hearing and touch to navigate the dense bush safely and efficiently at night (3). During the day it rests, but is sometimes active in the early morning or late afternoon, if there is little disturbance (2) (3). Normally solitary, the Cape Grysbok is entirely dependant on its own cunning and is an expert in avoiding detection and evading danger. When under perceived threat, rather than running, it hides motionless in the vegetation and will not flee until the last moment (3) (4) (5). If chased, it will bolt in an erratic zigzag run that is extremely tricky for a pursuer to follow (5). Although the Cape grysbok is predominately a browser, it will also graze on succulent grass and enter into plantations to feed on young shoots and fruit (1) (3). Remarkably, while this species will drink water when available, it does not require free water but derives all necessary hydration from its food (1) (3) (4). Male Cape Grysbok will mark out well-defined territories in several ways including urinating and defecating in dung-piles, scraping the dung with their hooves, and marking stalks and grass stems with a scent produced by preorbital glands. Furthermore, rival males will fiercely defend a territory by actively fighting each other with their horns (3) (4). Although breeding can take place at any time during the year, most lambs are born between September and December following a gestation period of around seven months (4). Under good conditions a sexually mature female will give birth to two lambs a year, which are weaned after around 3 months (3) (4). Along with mating, this is the only other time that Cape grysbok are not solitary (2).

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Source: ARKive

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