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Impala

Female and Young Impala
Female and Young Impala
© www.pgoimages.com
Photographer: Per-Gunnar Ostby of www.pgoimages.com


Female Impala
Female Impala
© www.pgoimages.com
Photographer: Per-Gunnar Ostby of www.pgoimages.com


Male Black Faced Impala
Male Black Faced Impala
Photographer: Hans Hillewaert

Impala Range Map (Africa)
Impala Range Map (Africa)

Latin Name Aepyceros melampus
Conservation Status Conservation Dependent
Location Africa
Colour Reddish/Fawn
Length 1.1 - 1.5 m (3.5 - 5 ft)
Tail 25 - 40 cm (10 - 16 inches)
Weight 40 - 65 Kg (88 - 145 lbs)
Life Expectancy 15 Yrs

Main Characteristics

Impala are medium sized antelopes that have a body length between 1.1 and 1.5 m (3.5 - 5 ft), a tail length between 25 and 40 cms (10 - 16 inches) and they weigh between 40 and 65 Kgs (88 - 145 lbs).

They are reddish/fawn in colour with a paler coloured underside. They have black markings on their hips and tail, and white markings above each eye, under their chin and on the underside of their tail. They have scent glands on their hind feet and glands on their forehead.

Impala are very vocal antelope. Males emit loud, hoarse grunts while rutting, calves make loud bleating sounds and all of them emit loud warning snorts if they sense danger.

They are fast runners and can leap distances up to 10 m (33 ft) to escape predators. They can soar as high as 3 m (10 ft) in the air over bushes and any obstacle that gets in their way.

Impala are active during the day with the peak of their activity being after dawn and before dusk.

Habitat

Impala are found in open woodlands and grasslands of Africa and they tend to inhabit areas close to a water source.

Females and their young will form herds consisting of 15 - 100 individuals. They have a home range between 80 and 180 hectares and they will defend this during the wet season but are more likely to overlap territories with other herds during the dry season.

Bachelor herds of young males are formed consisting of up to 30 individuals. They are non territorial and during the dry season they can be found mixed with female herds.

Mature, breeding males have territories that change depending on the season. During the breeding season their territory is usually smaller and they heavily defend it.

Diet

Impala feed upon grasses, fruit and leaves. They are dependent on water so live close to a water source.

Breeding

Impala tend to breed between March and May and females isolate themselves from the herd to give birth. After a gestation period of 194 - 200 days, 1 calf is born weighing approximately 5 kgs (11 lbs).

The mother and her calf will rejoin the herd after a couple of days and when the calf is old enough they will join a creche. When they reach 4 - 5 months old they are weaned.

Female Impala are sexually mature between 1 and 2 years of age. Males, however, are sexually mature at a year old but they do not establish territories and breed until they are approximately 4 years of age.

Predators

The main predators of Impala are leopards, lions, jackals, caracal, and humans.

An alarm call is put out by an Impala if they feel threatened and this will cause the herd to run.

Subspecies

Impala subspecies include:

Black Faced Impala
(Aepyceros melampus petersi)

Common Impala
(Aepyceros melampus melampus)

Interesting Facts

Impala have the popular name of "Macdonalds of the bush" due to the characteristic "M" shaped marking on their rump.

The name Impala comes from the Zulu language.

Aepyceros melampus comes from the greek meaning high horn black foot.

Similar Animals

Steenbok
Springbok
Gerenuk
Thomson's Gazelle

 


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