Redunca – Reedbucks

The antelopes with beautiful horns included in this genus are always active and alert

These medium-sized antelopes are often characterized by their tawny coats and preference for residing in the lush, grassy expanses of the African continent. These graceful creatures exhibit remarkable adaptability to their environments, which range from the wet grasslands preferred by the Common Reedbuck (Redunca arundinum) and the Southern Reedbuck (Redunca arundinum), to the rocky and hilly terrains favored by the Mountain Reedbuck (Redunca fulvorufula).

One of the most fascinating aspects of reedbuck behavior is their social structure and survival strategies. Reedbucks typically form small groups, often family units, allowing them to efficiently monitor their surroundings for potential threats. This group dynamic is crucial in the open grasslands and mountainous areas they inhabit, where predators can emerge with little warning. The presence of tall grasses in their preferred habitats provides not only a source of food but also cover from predators. In contrast, the Mountain Reedbuck, adapted to more rugged terrain, utilizes the uneven landscape to its advantage. It shows a remarkable ability to navigate and traverse steep inclines in search of water and grazing areas.

Reedbucks have developed a unique way of communicating danger: when threatened, they employ a combination of visual and auditory signals to alert the herd. This includes a distinctive behavior known as “pronking,” where they leap into the air with an arched back to visually signal danger, accompanied by loud, barking calls that resonate through their environment. This warning system plays a critical role in their survival, allowing individuals within the group time to flee to safety.

Despite their resilience and adaptive behaviors, reedbucks face significant threats from human activity. Overhunting, for their meat and hides, and habitat destruction due to deforestation and conversion of land for agriculture, have put pressure on reedbuck populations.