Impala

One of the most successful African sprinters

Assaf Levy

This graceful antelope is one of the most common African water-dependent and typical ecotone species found in mostly transition zones between two ecosystems.

Impalas occur widely in southern and East Africa, associated with light woodlands and savannas. Like most bovids, they are diurnal, usually feeding during dawn and resting during mid-day and after dark.

They have a distinct social structure with three types of groups- female herds, bachelor herds, and territorial males with allogrooming as a vital part of it. Male impala’s horns are ringed spiral and can grow up to 3 feet in length.

Impalas are considered abundant, but with less than 1000 black-faced impalas (subspecies) are classified as Vulnerable.

Distribution

Country
Population est.
Status
Year
Comments
Angola
2016
Botswana
2016
Burundi
0
Official estimate
EX
Extinct 1999
Eswatini
2016
Gabon
2016
Introduced
Kenya
2016
Malawi
2016
Mozambique
2016
Namibia
2016
Rwanda
2016
South Africa
2016
Tanzania
2016
Uganda
2016
Zambia
2016
Zimbabwe
2016

Did you know?

  • Males are called rams, while females are known as ewes.
  • The males with full-grown horns establish a dominant position and breeding territory. Horns are used to challenge other males and to test strength during territorial fights.
  • Mothers can delay giving birth depending on the weather.
  • The Impala is known for characteristic leaps that constitute an anti-predator strategy.
  • Herding with other herbivores, “association tendency,” is also an important anti-predation strategy.
  • The most prominent vocalization is the loud roar, which can be heard up to 2 km.
  • There are cars and music inspired by Impala!

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Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No