Overview

Distribution

Range Description

The Black Duiker ranges in forested and formerly forested areas from south-western Guinea eastwards through Sierra Leone to the Niger River (East 1999; Wilson 2001; Kingdon and Hoffmann in press). There are no confirmed records from Benin or from Burkina Faso (East 1999), and no indication that the species has ever occurred east of the Niger River (Kingdon and Hoffmann in press).
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Geographic Range

The Black Duiker ranges from Guinea to Southwestern Nigeria. This area includes the following countries: Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Togo.

Biogeographic Regions: ethiopian (Native )

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Physical Description

Morphology

Physical Description

Black Duikers are heavily built: short, stocky legs; long body; long head. They are dark brown to black in color. The bridge of their nose and other parts of their head are more reddish in color. They have bare nasal speculums and pointed hooves. Both sexes have horns. The male's are between 7.5 and 17.5 cm. The female's horns are between 2.5 and 3 cm. The body is between 80 and 90 cm long. The tail is between 12 and 14 cm long. The underside of the tail is white. The shoulder height is 45 to 50 cm. And they weigh between 15 and 20 kg.

Range mass: 15 to 20 kg.

Range length: 80 to 90 cm.

Other Physical Features: endothermic ; bilateral symmetry

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
The Black Duiker inhabits lowland rainforests of West Africa, the edge of primary forest, gallery forests, thicket, and riverine and deciduous forest patches within savannas. Black Duikers adapt quite well to a range of modified habitats throughout its range, including logged forest, secondary forest and farm bush, and it is among the most successful antelopes in colonizing farm-bush, and even (rarely) plantations (East 1999; Kingdon and Hoffmann in press).

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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C. niger is a terrestrial animal that is found in several different areas of the forest. It lives in areas of the rainforest and in in other forests. It can be found on the edges of these forests, in bushes and thickets. It can also be found in shrublands and degraded forests. (Walther, 1990).

Habitat Regions: tropical

Terrestrial Biomes: forest ; rainforest ; scrub forest

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Trophic Strategy

Food Habits

Black Duikers eat a wide variety of foods. Fruits and foliage are the most common, however, their diet also includes everything from insects to eggs. It is possible that they occasionally eat birds, also.

Foods eaten include: flowers, leaves, buds, young shoots, grasses, herbs, berries, fruits, termites, ants, snails and eggs.

Animal Foods: birds; eggs; insects; mollusks

Plant Foods: leaves; fruit

Primary Diet: herbivore (Folivore , Frugivore )

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Associations

Niger Delta Terrestrial Vertebrate Associates

The Niger Delta is an enormous classic distributary system located in West Africa, which stretches more than 300 kilometres wide and serves to capture most of the heavy silt load carried by the Niger River. The peak discharge at the mouth is around 21,800 cubic metres per second in mid-October. The Niger Delta coastal region is arguably the wettest place in Africa with an annual rainfall of over 4000 millimetres. Vertebrate species richness is relatively high in the Niger Delta, although vertebrate endemism is quite low. The Niger Delta swamp forests occupy the entire upper coastal delta. Historically the most important timber species of the inner delta was the Abura (Fleroya ledermannii), a Vulnerable swamp-loving West African tree, which has been reduced below populations viable for timber harvesting in the Niger Delta due to recent over-harvesting of this species as well as general habitat destruction of the delta due to the expanding human population here. Other plants prominent in the inner delta flood forest are: the Azobe tree (Lophira alata), the Okhuen tree (Ricinodendron heudelotii ), the Bitter Bark Tree (Sacoglottis gabonensis), the Rough-barked Flat-top Tree (Albizia adianthifolia), and Pycnanthus angolensis. Also present in its native range is the African Oil Palm (Elaeis guineensis)

There are a number of notable mammals present in the inner coastal delta, including the limited range Black Duiker (Cephalophus niger), a near-endemic to the Niger River Basin. In addition, the Endangered Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) is found in the Niger Delta. The near-endemic White-cheeked Guenon (Cercopithecus erythrogaster, VU) is found in the inner delta. The Critically Endangered Niger Delta Red Colubus (Procolobus pennantii ssp. epieni), which primate is endemic to the Niger Delta is also found in the inner delta.  The restricted distribution Mona Monkey (Cercopithecus mona), a primate often associated with rivers, is found here in the Niger Delta. The Near Threatened Olive Colobus (Procolobus verus) is restricted to coastal forests of West Africa and is found here in the upper delta.

Some of the reptiles found in the upper coastal Niger Delta are the African Banded Snake (Chamaelycus fasciatus); the West African Dwarf Crocodile (Osteolaemus tetraspis, VU); the African Slender-snouted Crocodile (Mecistops cataphractus); the Benin Agama (Agama gracilimembris); the Owen's Chameleon (Chamaeleo oweni); the limited range Marsh Snake (Natriciteres fuliginoides); the rather widely distributed Black-line Green Snake (Hapsidophrys lineatus); Cross's Beaked Snake (Rhinotyphlops crossii), an endemic to the Niger Basin as a whole; Morquard's File Snake (Mehelya guirali); the Dull Purple-glossed Snake (Amblyodipsas unicolor); the Rhinoceros Viper (Bitis nasicornis). In addition several of the reptiles found in the outer delta are found within this inner delta area.

Five threatened marine turtle species are found in the mangroves of the lower coastal delta: Leatherback Sea Turtle (Dermochelys coricea, EN), Loggerhead Sea Turtle (Caretta caretta, EN), Olive Ridley Turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea, EN), Hawksbill Sea Turtle (Eretomychelys imbricata, CR), and Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas, EN).

Other reptiles found in the outer NIger Delta are the Nile Crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus), African Softshell Turtle (Trionyx triunguis), African Rock Python (Python sebae), Boomslang Snake (Dispholidus typus), Cabinda Lidless Skink (Panaspis cabindae), Neon Blue Tailed Tree Lizard (Holaspis guentheri), Fischer's Dwarf Gecko (Lygodactylus fischeri), Richardson's Leaf-Toed Gecko (Hemidactylus richardsonii), Spotted Night Adder (Causus maculatus), Tholloni's African Water Snake (Grayia tholloni), Smith's African Water Snake (Grayia smythii), Small-eyed File Snake (Mehelya stenophthalmus), Western Forest File Snake (Mehelya poensis), Western Crowned Snake (Meizodon coronatus), Western Green Snake (Philothamnus irregularis), Variable Green Snake (Philothamnus heterodermus), Slender Burrowing Asp (Atractaspis aterrima), Forest Cobra (Naja melanoleuca), Rough-scaled Bush Viper (Atheris squamigera), and Nile Monitor (Varanus niloticus).

There are a limited number of amphibians in the inner coastal delta including the Marble-legged Frog (Hylarana galamensis). At the extreme eastern edge of the upper delta is a part of the lower Niger and Cross River watersheds that drains the Cross-Sanaka Bioko coastal forests, where the near endemic anuran Cameroon Slippery Frog (Conraua robusta) occurs.

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Predation

Known Predators:

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Known prey organisms

Cephalophus niger preys on:
Mollusca
Insecta
Aves

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
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Life History and Behavior

Life Expectancy

Lifespan/Longevity

The lifespan of C. niger is between 10 and 12 years.

Range lifespan

Status: wild:
10 to 12 years.

Average lifespan

Status: captivity:
14.8 years.

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Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Maximum longevity: 14.8 years (captivity) Observations: One specimen was still alive after 14.8 years in captivity (Richard Weigl 2005).
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Reproduction

There does not seem to be a restricted breeding season in C. niger. Females reach sexual maturity between ages 9 and 12 months. Males reach sexual maturity between ages 12 and 18 months. Gestation lasts about 7 months. Only 1 offspring is born per birth; and the offspring weighs about 1 kg. Weaning lasts no longer than 5 months.

Range number of offspring: 1 (low) .

Average number of offspring: 1.

Range gestation period: 4.2 to 7 months.

Range weaning age: 5 (high) months.

Average weaning age: 5 months.

Range age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female): 9 to 18 months.

Range age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male): 9 to 18 months.

Key Reproductive Features: year-round breeding ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual ; fertilization (Internal )

Parental Investment: altricial

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Cephalophus niger

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 2
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2008

Assessor/s
IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group

Reviewer/s
Mallon, D.P. (Antelope Red List Authority) & Hoffmann, M. (Global Mammal Assessment)

Contributor/s

Justification
Listed as Least Concern as it remains widespread within its historical range and reasonably common, adapting well to modified habitats and showing resiliency to hunting pressure. Its long-term survival will probably depend on the protection of viable populations within parks and reserves and/or management of sustainable offtake from areas set aside for bushmeat production. If current trends continue, including a complete lack of effective protection and management over most of its range, its status will eventually decline to threatened.
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C. niger is one of the most common duikers in Africa. Still, it suffers from overhunting. It is considered to be rare and endangered in Sierra Leone, Togo, and Nigeria (Kingdon, 1997). However, the IUCN has it ranked as a lower risk species, that is, near threatened. Many are killed each year for meat and skins. Stricter rules on the bushmeat trade would help the status of this mammal.

US Federal List: no special status

CITES: no special status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: least concern

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Population

Population
It is particularly common and successful in the central parts of its range, from Liberia to Ghana, but is rare or declining both east and west of this heartland. East (1999), assuming average population densities of 2.0/km² where it is known to be common/abundant and 0.2/km² elsewhere, produced an estimated total population of about 100,000. The population trend is probably gradually downwards over large parts of its range.

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Threats

Major Threats
Its adaptability to degraded and secondary forests and farm bush have enabled it to withstand the advance of settlement better than other medium-sized forest duiker species in West Africa and it still occurs quite widely within its historical range. Although it is a common component of bushmeat, it shows resilience to hunting and remains locally common. Given this, it is likely to persist in substantial numbers for considerably longer than most other medium-sized and large duiker species in West Africa. Nevertheless, it has already disappeared from the more densely settled parts of its former range (East 1999).
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
The Black Duiker occurs in several protected areas, such as Sapo N.P. (Liberia), Western Area F.R. (Sierra Leone), Taï N. P. and Comoé N. P. (Côte d’Ivoire) and Bia, Nini-Suhien and Kakum National Parks (Ghana) (East 1999; Kingdon and Hoffmann in press).
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

Humans use the Black Duiker for its meat and its skin.

Positive Impacts: food ; body parts are source of valuable material

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Wikipedia

Black duiker

The black duiker (Cephalophus niger, also known as tuba in Dyula) is a forest-dwelling duiker found in the southern parts of Sierra Leone, Liberia, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Benin, and Nigeria.

Black duikers stand around 500 mm (20 in) tall at the shoulder and weigh 15 to 20 kg (33 to 44 lb). They have, not surprisingly, black coats. The head is a rust colour with a large red crest between the ears. Black duikers have long, thin horns of 80 to 170 mm (3.1 to 6.7 in), but the horns of females reach only 30 mm (1.2 in).

Black duikers live mainly in lowland rainforest, where they eat fruit, flowers, and leaves which have fallen from the canopy. They are probably diurnal, though this is surmised only from captive specimens. Black duiker are reported to be solitary, territorial animals.

The mating season of the black duikers is year round, but more offspring are born from November to January. The gestation period lasts 126 days, and is thus comparably short, usually only one young is born. Its average weight is 1.94 kg; it is weaned around 90 days of age. The birth interval is seven and a half months. In captivity, the black duiker lives up to 14 years.[2]

An estimated 100,000 black duikers are left in the world;[1] they are threatened by hunting and are considered to be in decline across their range.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group (2008). Cephalophus niger. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 11 May 2008.
  2. ^ Th. Haltenorth; H. Diller: Säugetiere Afrikas und Madagaskars. BLV Verlagsgesellschaft, ISBN 978 3405 11392 6 Jonathan Kingdon: The Kingdon Pocket Guide to Afrikan Mammals. A&C Black Publishers Ltd., London, 2004, ISBN 978 0 7136 6981 7

C. P. Groves & D. M. Leslie, Jr.: Family Bovidae (Hollow-horned Ruminants). In: D. E. Wilson und R. A. Mittermeier (Hrsg.): Handbook of the Mammals of the World. Volume 2: Hooved Mammals. Lynx Edicions, 2011 (S. 764-765) ISBN 978-849-655-377-4 Cephalophus niger in der Roten Liste gefährdeter Arten der IUCN 2012.2. Eingestellt von: IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group, 2008. Abgerufen am 23. Oktober 2012

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