Roan

© Shem Compion

Name

Roan antelope [Hippotragus equinus]

Appearance

The roan antelope has a fawn colour coat with the lower legs covered in dark brown to black fur. The Roan antelope of South Africa have unique facial markings that are characteristic of its species.

Both males and females have long, pointed ears, long tufted tails and ringed scimitar-shaped horns. Bulls weigh 270 kg and measure 1.4 m at the shoulder. Cows are smaller and weigh between 170 to 210 kg.

Roan Antelope Diet

The roan antelope are grazers and feed on the top part of the grasses grown in the bushveld of South Africa. They also feed on medium to tall grasses grown in the savannah plains.

Roan Antelope Breeding

Roan antelope in South Africa do not have a specific breeding season. After a gestation period of around 40 weeks, calves are born and kept hidden in a thick bush. After the hiding period, the calves are kept in crèche groups.

The roan antelope have a high mortality rate in South Africa with around 80% of calves dying in the first seven weeks of life. The roan antelope is listed as endangered in the Red Data Book.

Roan Antelope Behaviour

The roan antelope are active during the early part of the day in South Africa. Herds mainly comprise of females and their calves with one bull. The eldest female is the matriarch and dominant figure of the group.

Roan Antelope Habitat

The roan antelope inhabit wooded savannah areas in South Africa with open areas that grow medium sized grasses. The roan antelope also require nearby access to surface water.