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Topi - Tiang -Tsessebe, Damaliscus lunatus
Francaise: Damalisque, Hirola, Korrigum, Sassaby. Deutsch: Leierantilope

© John H. Fields, http://www.meandmephoto.com/Africa/Pages/Animals.html

Family Bovidae.
Subfamily Alcelaphinae

Genus Damaliscus
Topi and Korrigum, Damaliscus korrigum
Korrigum, Damaliscus korrigum korrigum
Topi, Damaliscus korrigum jimela
Coastal Topi, Damaliscus korrigum topi

Tsessebe, Damaliscus lunatus
Bontebok, Damaliscus pygargus
Bontebok, Damaliscus pygargus pygargus
Blesbok, Damaliscus pygargus phillipsi
Bangweulu Tsessebe, Damaliscus superstes
Genus Beatragus
Hirola, Beatragus hunteri
, Damaliscus hunteri

Damaliscus lunatus ....

And just what is Damaliscus? it is a genus in the subfamily Alcelaphinae in th

Topi (Damaliscus lunatus) is smaller and darker than Hartebeest .
It has S-formed horns. The male is darker than the female. It prefers grasfields without trees or bushes.
© John H. Fields, http://www.meandmephoto.com/Africa/Pages/Animals.html

There are to day mainly 5 subspecies of the Topi; the Tsessebe split into two subspecies.
This species remains widespread across sub-Saharan Africa, but has undergone substantial declines during the last 100 years
and is threatened by hunting for meat and competition with cattle. Total population size has been estimated at about 300,000.
About 25% of these occurred in areas with reasonably good protection and management. However, WCS surveys in southern
Sudan indicate that this estimate should be increased by about 100,000.
Most remaining populations are known or believed to be declining.

ARKive video - Topi - overview
Male Topi
BBC Natural History Unit

This species formerly occurred widely on floodplains and other grasslands in sub-Saharan Africa. It was one of the most
numerous large antelope species in Africa, but has been eliminated from much of its former range. Various populations have
become very rare and it has disappeared from Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Senegal, The Gambia, and Burundi.
Population trends are increasing for the Tsessebe (especially on private land) and Bangweulu Tseseebe, but decreasing for
most of the other subspecies
The following also belong to the Genus Damaliscus, and are described on this page.

Bontebok, Damaliscus pygargus
Bontebok, Damaliscus pygargus pygargus
Blesbok, Damaliscus pygargus phillipsi

During our search for info to this page, we found the Hunter's Hartebeest, Damaliscus hunteri, which is included here.

The ranges of the subspecies of the Damaliscus lunatus are as follows: Number of animals in brackets as per 1999

topi, Damaliscus lunatus jimela
Photographer: Kenneth M. Gale, http://www.forestryimages.org/

Topi , Damaliscus lunatus jimela, Damaliscus korrigum jimela (93.000)
Topi occurred in south-west Kenya, northwest and western Tanzania, east and south-western Uganda, north-eastern Rwanda,
and the eastern floodplains and savanna grasslands of Burundi. Topi are now extinct in Burundi.

Females and young. Damaliscus korrigum, 1987
. Location Masai Mara National Park (Kenya)
Photo: 0091 3183 0917 0125: Gerald and Buff Corsi © California Academy of Sciences

Korrigum, Damaliscus lunatus korrigum, Damaliscus korrigum korrigum (3.000)
Korrigum formerly occurred from southern Mauritania and Senegal to western Chad, but has undergone a dramatic decline
since the early 1900s because of displacement by cattle and uncontrolled hunting for meat. The species no longer occurs in
Mauritania, Mali, Senegal, or The Gambia, and they probably no longer occur in northern Togo, Nigeria or western Chad,
except as vagrants.

Tsessebe, Damaliscus lunatus lunatus (30.000)
south-central Africa
Tsessebe remain present in a number of populations in southern Africa, but became extinct in Mozambique around the
late 1970s or early 1980s. They have been reintroduced in Swaziland, after the indigenous population was exterminated.

Bangweulu Tsessebe, Damaliscus lunatus superstes (3.500)
northeastern Zambia in the southern Bangweulu Flats
Bangweulu Tsessebe formerly occurred in the Bangweulu Flats in northeastern Zambia, and in the Katanga Pedicle
of DR Congo, where they are now extinct.

Tiang, Damaliscus lunatus tiang (75.000) (3.200 in central Africa as per 2004)
Tiang occurred throughout southern Chad, northern Central African Republic, and Sudan to south-western Ethiopia
and extreme north-western Kenya.

Coastal Topi , Damaliscus lunatus topi, Damaliscus korrigum topi (100.000)
Coastal Topi formerly occurred in southern Somalia in riverine grasslands on the lower Shebelle and Juba Rivers and the
area around Bush Bush N.P., and in Kenya in Lamu, Garissa and Tana River districts. Their range is unchanged in Kenya,
although there is no information available from Somalia.
Information about species above comes from IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group 2008. Damaliscus lunatus.
In: IUCN 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 27 January 2012.

Hunter's Hartebeest - Hirola, Damaliscus hunteri - Beatragus hunteri (0)

Hunter's Hartebeest, 1969 in Africa.
9092 3191 3555 0071: H. Vannoy Davis © California Academy of Sciences

Hirola, Beatragus hunteri

Hirola, Beatragus hunteri
Given a conservative estimate of generation time at nine years, the 85 to 90% decline (and continuing) since
1980 has occurred over three generations and meets the threshold for Critically Endangered under criterion A2, and on the basis of direct observation, decline in area of occupancy and habitat quality and levels of exploitation.

This is one of the most highly threatened antelopes in Africa. Recommendations for the long-term
onservation of the Hirola in Kenya have been included in a conservation action plan and a conservation
evaluation report. These recommendations are now part of the current conservation and management
plan for the Hirola in Kenya....There is an urgent need to improve the level of management and protection
of the one natural
population of Hirola, particularly in the Arawale

Consideration should be given to establishing protected areas at Galma Galla and Lag Dere, and to expanding
the Tana Primate National Reserve to the east to include at least 300 km² of prime habitat for Hirola.
There are only two Hirola in captivity.
Source: UICN Press Release - 06 February 2009 -
One fourth of antelope species are threatened with extinction in the world

The Critically Endangered hirola is a grazing antelope that can be found feeding most intensively on the grassy plains
in the early morning and evening, using its large molars to chew the coarse grass . Like many other mammals
inhabiting the hot, dry plains of Africa, the hirola can go for long periods without drinking, and survives drought by storing fat and avoiding unnecessary energetic activity . Females and their young form groups of between 5 and 40 individuals (2), while the role of mature males depends on population density and ecological factors .
Info for this specimen comes from http://eol.org/pages/308533/overview

Perhaps the world’s rarest and most endangered antelopes, the hirola is the sole survivor of a formerly diverse group, and is
often referred to as a living fossil. Once common throughout East Africa, the species has suffered a devastating decline in the
last 30 years, with numbers plummeting from around 14,000 in the 1970s to an estimated 600 today. The surviving hirola are
threatened by drought, poaching and habitat loss. Intensive conservation efforts are needed if this rare and beautiful antelope
is to survive.
Info found at http://www.edgeofexistence.org/mammals/species_info.php?id=37

The Hirola, Hunter's Antelope is endemic to north-east Kenya and south-west Somalia. Historical distribution is estimated
to have covered ca. 17,900 km² in Kenya and ca. 20,500 km² in Somalia [1-2].
In Kenya, Hirola currently occur between Garsen, Bura and Galma Galla/Kolbio over an area of ca. 8,000 km² (Butynski 1999).
Current status in south-west Somalia is not known, but its former range has been badly affected by prolonged civil and military
conflicts that continued up to early 2007.

There is a small translocated population in Tsavo East National Park, outside the species’ natural range. This originated from a
translocation of 30 animals from Garissa District conducted in 1963. It is thought that most of these perished soon after release
and that the size of the “effective founder population” was only 11 to 19 animals [1].
A further 10 animals were translocated to Tsavo East in 1996 [5].

In 1979, there were ca. 16,000 animals in Kenya on 17,900 km². Estimated numbers decreased from 12,500 in the early to
mid-1970s to about 7,000 in 1977-83, followed by a drastic decline (85 to 90%) between 1983 and 1985 caused by the
severe drought of 1984 [1]. Ground surveys suggested a population of between 500 and 2,000 in Kenya in
1995/1996 [1,2,4] . Somalia had ca. 2,000 Hirola in 1979,
but has few, if any, today [1]. Overall, numbers have fallen by 85 to 90% since 1980 and are still declining. [1]

The translocated population in Tsavo East National Park numbers ca. 105 individuals, an increase from the 56 to 76 animals in 1995/1996 [1,4]).
References: 1. Butynski 1999. 2. Bunderson 1981, 3. Andanje and Ottichilo 1999, 4. Dahiye and Aman 2002, 5. (Hofmann 1996)
Above info from IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group 2008. Beatragus hunteri. In: IUCN 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Version 2011.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 27 January 2012.

Among the most socially advanced of the ungulates, the topi (also called the sassaby) occurs in
the largest numbers in southern Sudan and in Tanzania's Serengeti National Park.
Its distribution is scattered, and populations isolated, probably because of habitat loss and hunting.


The topi is a medium-sized antelope with a striking reddish-brown to purplish-red coat. Distinct black patches appear on
the face, the upper forelegs and on the hips and thighs. To complete its singular appearance, the topi's yellowish-tan legs
look like they are encased in stockings.

Although not quite as large as its relative the hartebeest (kongoni), the topi has a similar body shape. But it does not have such a long narrow head nor is it as high at the shoulder. The female is usually lighter in color than the male. Both sexes have thick, heavily ringed, lyre-shaped horns about 21 inches long. Topis have good sight and hearing and can run quite fast with a bounding gait.

ARKive video - Topi display defending territories
Topi, Damaliscus lunatus, display defending territories
BBC Natural History Unit

www.americazoo.com/goto/ index/mammals/398.htm

One of the most rare east-african representatives of the genus Damaliscus is the Hunter's antelope, Hunter's hartebeest,
Damaliscus lunatus hunteri, which once occured in a 100 km wide sandy line betweek the desert and the coastal savannah.
Their habit is limited to south of Tanariver in Kenya and north of Juba-river in Somalia, so that the animals passes the borders
between those two countries regularly. .

Photographer: Chuck Bargeron, http://www.forestryimages.org/

The topi eats only grass, its narrow muzzle being well adapted for selecting the tenderest growth. Their favorite habitat is
the flood plain, but they are sometimes found in dry areas of open savanna and park woodland, taking to the shade during
the heat of the day. If green grazing is not available, the topi must drink daily.

Photographer: Kenneth M. Gale, http://www.forestryimages.org/

Topis are exceptionally gregarious and live in herds of 15 to 20, although in some places it is possible to see herds of hundreds.
Their social structure is flexible; sedentary populations display the usual residence pattern—small herds led by a dominant male.
During migratory periods, large numbers of animals congregate together indiscriminately.

Topis are most active in the morning and evening. Like other ruminants, they feed for a while, then rest and chew their cud
before they continue feeding. They have several rest breaks during the day and the rhythm of their daily activities is influenced
by the food supply - the coarser and drier the feed, the longer rest time needed for digestion.

Text above, except for the part from IUCN, has been collected from




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