Raphicerus campestris 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Cetartiodactyla Bovidae

Scientific Name: Raphicerus campestris (Thunberg, 1811)
Common Name(s):
English Steenbok
French Steenbok
Antilope campestris Thunberg, 1811
Taxonomic Notes: Many subspecies have been named, largely based on pelage colour. Two were recognized by Kingdon (1997) and du Toit (2013): R. c. capestris in southern Africa and R. c. neumanni in East Africa.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-01-07
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Hoffmann, M. & Mallon, D.
Listed as Least Concern as the species is widespread, relatively common and there are no major threats. The population trend is generally stable or increasing in protected areas and on private land (though it varies from decreasing to increasing elsewhere). Numbers may be declining in some unprotected areas where settlement densities and hunting pressures are high.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Steenbok have a disjunct distribution, with one population in East Africa (southern Kenya, north and central Tanzania) and a larger one in southern Africa, the isolating barrier being the tall miombo woodlands of central Zambia, Malawi (from which there are no records) and northern Mozambique (du Toit 2013). In southern Africa, their range extends from southern Angola and western Zambia, into most of Namibia (except the arid coastal parts), throughout Botswana, much of Zimbabwe, southern Mozambique, and much of South Africa (being absent only from southern and south-eastern KwaZulu-Natal and the neighbouring Eastern Cape) (du Toit 2013). Although their distribution is largely unchanged in southern Africa, in East Africa they no longer occur in Uganda, where most suitable habitat is now cultivated (East 1999).
Countries occurrence:
Angola; Botswana; Kenya; Mozambique; Namibia; South Africa; Swaziland; Tanzania, United Republic of; Zambia; Zimbabwe
Regionally extinct:
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):3500
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:East (1999) estimated a total population size in excess of 600,000 individuals, but this is an underestimate. Aerial surveys underestimate population numbers, but ground surveys, in areas where the species is common, give density estimates of 0.3-1.0/km² (East 1999). In general, there are no reliable estimates of Steenbok population density, as census methods are too unreliable for this cryptic species (du Toit 2013).
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Steenbok occupy a variety of habitats, from semi-desert to alpine moorland zones up to altitudes of 3,500 m on Mt Kenya (du Toit 2013). They occur widely in drier savannas, grasslands and scrublands (East 1999). In southern Africa they show a particular preference for heavily grazed areas, where the herb layer has a high forb to grass ratio and the woody layer is dominated by encroaching thorn scrub; such conditions often occur around watering points although Steenbok are largely water-independent. The key habitat requirement is the availability of high-quality food items (green browse, geophytes, berries, flowers or pods) throughout the year (du Toit 2013).
Generation Length (years):3.9

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The species can be locally hunted.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats to this species. However, Steenbok are locally vulnerable to predation by domestic dogs and subsistence herdsmen who frequently capture and kill juveniles in particular (when they are found lying alone in cover) (du Toit 2013).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The Steenbok is very well represented in protected areas and private farmland. The largest numbers occur in areas such as Serengeti-Mara and Tarangire (East Africa), Etosha National Park and private farmland (Namibia), northern, central and south-western rangelands (Botswana), Hwange National Park and private farmland (Zimbabwe) and Kruger National Park and private farmland (South Africa) (East 1999, du Toit 2013). About one-quarter of this estimated population occurs in protected areas and 30% on private land (East 1999).

Citation: IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group. 2016. Raphicerus campestris. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T19308A50193533. . Downloaded on 22 August 2018.
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