Philantomba maxwellii 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Cetartiodactyla Bovidae

Scientific Name: Philantomba maxwellii (C.H. Smith, 1827)
Common Name(s):
English Maxwell's Duiker
French Céphalophe de Maxwell
Antilope maxwellii C.H. Smith, 1827
Cephalophus maxwelli (C.H. Smith, 1827)
Taxonomic Notes: Philantomba was formerly regarded as a synonym or subgenus of Cephalophus but is now treated separately by most authors including. Two subspecies have been named, the nominate form occurring over almost all of the range and P. m. danei on two islands off the coast of Sierra Leone (Grubb and Groves 2001, Nett and Newing 2013).

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.
The species remains widespread within its historical range, and abundant, adapting well to modified habitats and showing resiliency in the face of hunting pressure. Maxwell’s Duiker will probably continue to exist in large numbers, but even this abundant and resilient species cannot withstand increasing human populations and hunting pressures indefinitely. It has already been severely reduced in numbers or eliminated in those parts of its range with very high human population densities and rates of harvest are known to be increasing over much of its range. This foretells its ultimate fate if current unrestricted snaring and hunting continues, unless some form of management which ensures sustainable offtake rates can be implemented. Bushmeat and other surveys indicate that population declines may be close to or have already reached the thresholds for Near Threatened under criterion A, however until this can be confirmed, the species remains listed as Least Concern.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Widespread within the Upper Guinean Forest zone, in moist lowland forests and extending into the adjoining forest-savanna mosaics (East 1999). It ranges from western Gambia and south-west Senegal east to the Cross River in Nigeria, and including two islands off the coast of Sierra Leone (East 1999, Wilson 2001, Nett and Newing 2013). Their current distribution is probably not much changed from their historical distribution, although much of their original habitat has been modified or lost (Nett and Newing 2013). Not recorded in Mali by Heringa (1990) or Wilson (2001) but may occur there in gallery forests in the savanna woodland zone (Nett and Newing 2013).
Countries occurrence:
Benin; Burkina Faso; Côte d'Ivoire; Gambia; Ghana; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Liberia; Nigeria; Senegal; Sierra Leone; Togo
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):1400
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Generally abundant throughout the Guinean forest zone. It is the most common duiker species in Côte d’Ivoire, where Newing (2001) recorded a density of 79/km² in a mixed, hunted farmland near Taï N.P.

East (1999) produced a total population estimate of 2,137,000, likely a conservative estimate. Despite its resilience to hunting pressure and its adaptability to degraded forest habitats, its numbers show a general tendency to decrease in many areas, especially as there are few protected areas within its range which receive effective levels of protection and management.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Occurs in moist lowland forests (primary, secondary forests and plantations) and more locally within riverine forests, forest patches and coastal scrub, and in montane grassland up to 1,400 m in Sierra Leone (Nett and Newing 2013). Much of its original habitat has been destroyed by the spread of settlement and agriculture, but Maxwell's Duiker are particularly adaptable to dense thickets, farm-bush habitats, and it still occurs locally in areas with thick undergrowth or other suitable cover. Thus, it has probably benefited from the destruction of primary forests by adapting well to disturbed habitats and remains widespread, occurring in primary and secondary vegetation and often surviving in close proximity to settlement.
Generation Length (years):4.8

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Widely hunted for bushmeat.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): While much of its original habitat has been modified or destroyed by the spread of agricultural settlement, it adapts to secondary vegetation and farm bush. Its major threats are extensive hunting for bushmeat and expansion of settlements. They are among the most hunted ungulates in much of their range but show considerable resilience to hunting pressure, better than other duikers (Nett and Newing 2013). However they are not resilient to intensive poaching; for example, in the Comoé N.P. in Côte d’Ivoire, high levels of poaching led to numbers of Maxwell’s Duiker declining by more than 90% within 20 years (Fischer and Linsenmair 2001).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It occurs in virtually all protected areas within its range and is well represented in areas such as Sapo NP (Liberia), Taï NP (Côte d’Ivoire) and Kakum, Bia and Nini-Suhien NPs (Ghana).

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
suitability:Suitable season:resident major importance:Yes
1. Forest -> 1.9. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane
suitability:Marginal season:resident 
3. Shrubland -> 3.6. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Moist
suitability:Suitable season:resident 
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.3. Artificial/Terrestrial - Plantations
suitability:Suitable season:resident 
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.6. Artificial/Terrestrial - Subtropical/Tropical Heavily Degraded Former Forest
suitability:Marginal season:resident 
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management
3. Species management -> 3.1. Species management -> 3.1.1. Harvest management

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
  Action Recovery plan:No
  Systematic monitoring scheme:No
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
  Area based regional management plan:No
  Invasive species control or prevention:Not Applicable
In-Place Species Management
  Harvest management plan:No
  Successfully reintroduced or introduced beningly:No
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:No
In-Place Education
  Subject to recent education and awareness programmes:No
  Included in international legislation:No
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:No
1. Residential & commercial development -> 1.1. Housing & urban areas
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Majority (50-90%) ♦ severity:Slow, Significant Declines ⇒ Impact score:Medium Impact: 6 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.1. Intentional use (species is the target)
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Whole (>90%) ♦ severity:Slow, Significant Declines ⇒ Impact score:Medium Impact: 7 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends
3. Monitoring -> 3.2. Harvest level trends

Bibliography [top]

East, R. (compiler). 1999. African Antelope Database 1998. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

Fischer, F. and Linsenmair, K. E. 2001. Decreases in ungulate population densities. Examples from the Comoe National Park, Ivory Coast. Biological Conservation 101: 131-135.

Grubb, P. and Groves, C.P. 2001. Revision and Classification of the Cephalophinae. In: V.J. Wilson (ed.), Duikers of Africa: Masters of the African Floor, pp. 703-728. Chipangali Wildlife Trust, Bulawayo,Zimbabwe.

Heringa, A.C. 1990. Mali. In: R. East (ed.), Antelopes: Global survey and regional action plans. Part 3: West and Central Africa, pp. 8-14. IUCN/SSC Antelope Specialist Group. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

IUCN. 2016. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016-1. Available at: (Accessed: 30 June 2016).

Nett, D. and Newing, H. 2013. Philantomba maxwelli Maxwell's Duiker. In: J. Kingdon and M. Hoffmann (eds), The Mammals of Africa, pp. 224-227. Bloomsbury, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Newing, H. 2001. Bushmeat hunting and management: implications of duiker ecology and interspecific competition. Biodiversity and Conservation 10(1): 99–108.

Wilson, V.J. 2001. Duikers of Africa: Masters of the African Forest Floor. Directory Publishers, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.

Citation: IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group. 2016. Philantomba maxwellii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T4142A50182944. . Downloaded on 27 May 2018.
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