Tragelaphus scriptus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

Translate page into:

Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Cetartiodactyla Bovidae

Scientific Name: Tragelaphus scriptus (Pallas, 1766)
Common Name(s):
English Bushbuck
French Guib Harnaché
Taxonomic Notes: Numerous subspecies have been recognized, usually based on morphological variation - coat patterns vary greatly across the range. Several recent studies of mitochondrial DNA indicate that there are two divergent lineages, one in the north and west and another in the south and east and that these may represent two distinct species (see Plumptre and Wronski 2013 for details and discussion). The traditional treatment as a single species is followed here provisionally, in line with Plumptre and Wronski (2013), and awaiting results of analysis of nuclear DNA data. There are some isolated populations, such as Menelik's Bushbuck in the Bale Mountains of Ethiopia, which has a very distinctive phenotype.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-06-14
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Hoffmann, M.
Total population numbers for Bushbuck were estimated at ca 1,340,000, and this is probably a conservative estimate. Numbers are generally stable over considerable parts of the range, but decreasing near densely settled areas. It has a very large extent of occurrence (EOO) and does not currently approach any of the criteria for threatened status.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The Bushbuck ranges very widely across sub-Saharan Africa, except much of the Congo Basin forests and the south-west. Bushbuck occur in 40 African countries, more than any other antelope species (East 1999). The range extends from Mauritania, Senegal and Guinea-Bissau through West Africa to Ethiopia and southern Somalia, then southwards throughout East Africa and the more mesic areas of south-central Africa, extending to the eastern coastal areas of South Africa (East 1999, Plumptre and Wronski 2013). It also occurs on some small islands off the African mainland including Orango N.P. in the Bijagos Archipelago off the coast of Guinea-Bissau (East 1999). The only sub-Saharan country from which Bushbuk has not recently been recorded, and where they may formerly have occurred, is Lesotho (Lynch 1994).
Countries occurrence:
Angola; Benin; Botswana; Burkina Faso; Burundi; Cameroon; Central African Republic; Chad; Congo; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Côte d'Ivoire; Equatorial Guinea; Ethiopia; Gabon; Gambia; Ghana; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Kenya; Liberia; Malawi; Mali; Mauritania; Mozambique; Namibia; Niger; Nigeria; Rwanda; Senegal; Sierra Leone; Somalia; South Africa; South Sudan; Sudan; Swaziland; Tanzania, United Republic of; Togo; Uganda; Zambia; Zimbabwe
Possibly extinct:
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):4000
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The Bushbuck reaches high densities in localized areas of favourable habitat; for example, 78 resident individuals were identified within a 2.6 km² area of open forest within Nairobi National Park (Kenya) giving a population density of 30/km², and faecal counts gave population density estimates of 11 - 44/km² in montane forest and adjoining habitats within Volcanoes National Park (Rwanda). Aerial surveys undoubtedly grossly underestimate the Bushbuck’s population density because of its preference for cover and its secretive habits. Ground surveys have produced density estimates of 0.08-1.0/m², but again the Bushbuck’s tendency to remain concealed probably results in significant undercounting in some ground surveys (East 1999, Plumpre and Wronski 2013, and references therein).

East (1999) estimated the total population of Bushbuck at 1,340,000, likely an underestimate. Its numbers are stable over considerable parts of its range, but are decreasing in densely settled regions (various authors in East 1999).
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:1000000-1500000
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Bushbuck occur widely in sub-Saharan Africa wherever there is cover to conceal it, from rainforest, forest edge to patches of gallery forest and bush near water in the sub-desert. It is naturally absent from arid and semi-arid regions and from extensive areas of closed-canopy forest. They range from low altitudes near the coast in southern, East and West Africa up to 4,000 m on the mountains of East Africa (Plumptre and Wronski 2013 and references therein). Its ability to survive in human-dominated landscapes and to withstand heavy hunting pressure has enabled it to persist over much of its former range (East 1999). Bushbuck are primarily browsers; in some areas, they enter agricultural fields to eat crops and may be considered a pest (Plumptre and Wronski 2013).
Generation Length (years):5.1

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The Bushbuck is hunted for food and for sport. The proportion of animals taken from the wild and from ranches is unknown. Data from Rwanda show that Bushbuck meat is significantly lower in price than domestic meat and was the bushmeat most commonly purchased (Plumptre and Bizumuremyi 1996, Plumptre et al. 1997).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Bushbuck have disappeared from some areas in the drier parts of its former range because of habitat destruction and increasing aridity, but it is expanding its distribution within the equatorial forest zone as this is opened up by human activities. There do not seem to be any major threats to its long-term conservation, although numbers may be gradually decreasing locally as hunting pressures increase in parts of its range (East 1999).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The Bushbuck is present in numerous protected areas across its range. Its ability to survive widely in settled areas and successfully utilize habitats modified by human activities should ensure that it survives in substantial numbers outside protected areas for the foreseeable future (East 1999).

Errata [top]

Errata reason: This errata assessment has been created because the map was accidentally left out of the version published previously.

Citation: IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group. 2016. Tragelaphus scriptus (errata version published in 2017). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22051A115165242. . Downloaded on 24 September 2018.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided