Raphicerus campestris


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Raphicerus campestris
Species Authority: (Thunberg, 1811)
Common Name(s):
English Steenbok

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
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 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.

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 in press). 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 in press). 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).
Angola (Angola); Botswana; Kenya; Mozambique; Namibia; South Africa; Swaziland; Tanzania, United Republic of; Zambia; Zimbabwe
Regionally extinct:
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/kmĀ² (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 in press).
Population Trend: Stable

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 in press). 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 in press).
Systems: Terrestrial

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 in press).

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). About one-quarter of this estimated population occurs in protected areas and 30% on private land (East 1999).

Bibliography [top]

du Toit, J. T. In press. Raphicerus campestris. In: J. S. Kingdon and M. Hoffmann (eds), The Mammals of Africa, Academic Press, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

East, R. 1999. African Antelope Database 1999. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

Citation: IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group 2008. Raphicerus campestris. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 31 March 2015.
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