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Antelopes

Black Buck Antelope : Antelope cervicapra Linn

Also called as Kala Hiran It is the sole representative of the genus Antilope. In Hindu religion Black buck is a vehicle of Chandrama (soma or chandra) (moon). This is a symbol of purity prosperity and peace.It is mainly found in India but with other small populations in Pakistan and Nepal. The adult male stands about 80 cm (about 32 in) at the shoulder and weighs 32 to 43 kg (71 to 95 lb). Males are dark brown and has ringed horns that have a moderate spiral twist of three to four turns. The light-brown female is usually hornless. The body's upper parts are black, White highlights the eyes, ears, chin, under parts, and rump. The fawns are brown but turn tan after about a month. This is exclusively an Indian animal is perhaps the most graceful and beautiful of its kind. except the North eastern region they are found throughout India but are majorly seen in Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat and central India. It does not live in dense forest Black bucks frequent the open plains in herds, It is one of the fastest animals on earth and can out run any animal over long distances. Open plains, which allows it to move fast, are therefore needed to protect it from predators.

When the rut (mating season) reaches a peak, one male establishes dominance. its largest population at present occurs in Velvadar National Park.

Chinkara : Gazella gazella

This is the smallest asiatic antelope.They grows to a height of 65 cms and weighs up to a mere 25 kgs. Although mostly seen as solitary animals, they can sometimes be spotted in small groups numbering up to 3 - 4 individuals. The summer coat is short & slate grey, In winters its is dense & pale fwan. They have a life expectancy of 12 - 15 years, which too is shorter than that of most of its cousins. Although mostly seen as solitary animals, they can sometimes be spotted in small groups numbering up to 3 - 4 individuals.

These gazelles are found mostly in open woodlands and scrublands. They can go without water for long periods and can even get sufficient fluids from plants and dew drops. Due to their ability to survive without large sources of water, their habits can vary from one place to another. These gazelle can be seen in various parks across India but the best wildlife parks in which to look out for this animal are Gir, Panna, Ranthambore and the Desert National Park.

Chiru or Tibetan antelope : Panthalops hodgsoni

In the elevated & barren plateaus of Tibet one finds a species of antelope which is remarkable for its curiously swollen snout & long elegant horns. Chiru stand about four feet high and males have horns 20-23 inches long, while females are hornless; their coloration ranges from beige or light-grey to white. Chiru live in the open plain & broad river valleys, some 12000-18000 ft above the sea level. Its body is covered with dense wool. the colour is variable, generally it is pale fawn above & white below. The chiru's undercoat consists of shahtoosh (Persian for "king of wools"), the softest, warmest wool in the world.

The Tibetan antelope population was one million or more at the beginning of the century, But an intellegent guess suggests that by the mid-90s chiru numbers had been reduced to less than 75,000, due principally to poaching for shahtoosh. As many as 20,000 Tibetan antelope are killed annually to supply the trade,The chiru is found only on the Tibetan plateau, its range expends to ladakh & at Nepal Tibet frontier.

Nilgai : Boselaphus tragocamelus

The Nilgai is a great ungainly antelope standing fully 54 in. at the shoulder & weighing 600 lbs. It is a large antelope with short, smooth horns in males. Females usually do not grow horns, but may occasionally, with prominent withers giving them a backline that slopes to the rump. In bulls, powerful shoulders and a thick neck tend to accentuate this sloping profile. Overall coloration is gray to brownish gray in males; females and young are brown to orangish brown. Patches of white on the face and below the chin. .

Nilgai typically herd in small groups of about 10 animals although larger groups of 20-70 are occasionally seen. Males and females remain segregated for most of the year, with bulls joining the cow-calf groups only for breeding. The habitat of Nilgai may be level, undulating or hilly. They favour a mixture of grassland, scrub & cultivation, they usually avoid really dense forest but will live in more or less open tree forest.
The antelope have a distinctive feature that is their droppings are commonly found heaped in one particular spot, Nilgai is found in Indian peninsula from the base of Himalyas to mysore.

Four-horned antelope, Chousingha : Tetracerus quadricornis

A shy, wary antelope, A Chousingha stands 1.8-2.1 ft to its shoulders, with body length of 3-3.6 ft. It scales to 15-25 kg, The short, coarse coat is yellow-brown to dark reddish-brown in colour, with the undersides and inside surfaces of the legs being whitish. The nose is generally darker, as is an indistinct stripe which runs down the front of each leg. The four-horned antelope is rarely found far from a water, and must drink regularly in order to survive. Usually Chousingha is a solitary animal But many times it is seen in pairs. The peak mating takes place during the July-September rainy season. In the rut, males can be extremely aggressive to members of the same sex. The main Diet of this antelope is Leaves, grasses, shoots, fruit, very dependent on water. Chousingha are found in Woodland areas throughout India, having main Predators like Tiger, leopard, wolf, dhole, small cats.




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