Author(s): C David Simpson
Data from 289 greater kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros), shot during tsetse control game elimination in Rhodesia, established some facts about the biology of this species. Reproductive data are analyzed to give age-specific birth rates, which show productivity to peak in middle-aged females, and to give the status each month of pregnant, lactating, and non-breeding animals. The breeding season is restricted, calves being born in February-March, and lactation lasts about 6 months, ceasing shortly after the rut in July. The variation in hunter success is associated with the availability of kudu, influenced by the seasonal vertical movements of animals in the study area; altitudinal change is more marked in females. Despite apparent sexual parity at birth, a disparity in favor of males was found among subadults, and became more pronounced with age. The average herd size for each month relates to the seasonal biology of kudu, and the two periods of herd aggregation coincide with the calving and rut seasons.