|Scientific Name:||Nesotragus moschatus|
|Species Authority:||Von Dueben, 1846|
Neotragus moschatus (Von Dueben, 1846)
|Taxonomic Notes:||Included in the genus Neotragus, along with the Royal Antelope Neotragus batesi, and Bates' Pygmy Antelope N. pygmaeus, by a number of authors (Ansell 1972; Grubb 2005). Here included in the monotypic Nesotragus following Ellerman et al. (1953) and Kingdon (in press).|
|Red List Category & Criteria:||Least Concern ver 3.1|
|Assessor(s):||IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group|
|Reviewer(s):||Mallon, D.P. (Antelope Red List Authority) & Hoffmann, M. (Global Mammal Assessment)|
Listed as Least Concern as the total population is estimated at c. 365,000, and the population is considered stable over large parts of its range. The Suni’s presence in protected areas, its ability to adapt to secondary vegetation and its resilience to hunting should enable it to persist in satisfactory numbers within substantial parts of its current range for the foreseeable future.
|Range Description:||The Suni formerly occurred widely in forests and thickets in coastal regions and the hinterland from Kenya to KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. In Kenya, it occurs about as far north as Mt Kenya and the Aberdares, and, along the coast, as far north as the lower Tana R.; their southerly limit of distribution is around L. St Lucia in NE KwaZulu-Natal (c. 28°S) (Kingdon and Hoffmann in press). They probably also occur in Swaziland, although their occurrence is not confirmed (Monadjem 1998). There are no confirmed records from Zambia. Recorded from Zanzibar and some adjacent islands (Mafia and Chapani, the type locality), but not Pemba (Kingdon and Hoffmann in press).|
Native:Kenya; Malawi; Mozambique; South Africa; Tanzania, United Republic of; Zimbabwe
|Range Map:||Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.|
This species occurs at relatively high population densities in areas where it is common, e.g., ground surveys have revealed densities of 13.0-17.0/km² in areas such as Zanzibar Island and Lengwe National Park; it occurs at lower densities in South Africa, e.g., 0.9/km² in Mkuzi Game Reserve (various authors in East 1999).
East (1999) produced a total population estimate of 365,000 (East 1999). The population trend is probably stable over large parts of its range, but decreasing in settled areas where hunting pressures are very high and in some protected areas with an overpopulation of nyala.
|Habitat and Ecology:||An inhabitant of coastal forests and thickets, dry deciduous thickets, montane forests to 2,700 m and other areas with thick undergrowth. In some areas it probably benefits from the expansion of secondary thicket habitat which has resulted from human activity (e.g. on Zanzibar), and it readily colonises degraded forests.|
|Major Threat(s):||This is a very resilient species which generally withstands moderately high hunting pressure, although overhunting has probably reduced its numbers over much of its range in Kenya, and localized overhunting causes low densities in areas such as the immediate vicinity of villages. Loss of habitat to the expansion of agriculture and settlement and hunting by poachers and uncontrolled dogs have eliminated the Suni from much of its former range in South Africa where it is now a rare species. It is also threatened by reduction of shrub cover caused by increasing numbers of nyala (Tragelaphus angasii) in some protected areas and private game farms.|
Important protected populations occur in areas such as Aberdares N.P. and Mount Kenya N. P. (Kenya), Udzungwa N.P. and Selous G. R. (Tanzania), Lengwe N. P. (Malawi), Maputo G. R. (Mozambique) and Tembe N. P., Mkuzi G. R. and Ndumu G. R. (South Africa).
In 1995, a total of 39 captive-bred suni were released in an area of dense bush in north-eastern Kruger National Park which is believed to comprise suitable habitat, but by early 1998 there was no evidence that this reintroduction had been successful (East 1999).
|Citation:||IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group 2008. Nesotragus moschatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 19 December 2014.|
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