Society of African Journal Editors

African Zoology

Observations on Social Organization of Springbok, Antidorcas Marsupialis , in the Bontebok National Park, Swellendam

Authors: JHM David

Journal: African Zoology

The study area of 2 786 ha contained over 200 springbok. The data were gathered during 78 separate day visits over four years. The most important social groups were (1) nursery herds of females and young; (2) harem herds similar to (1) but containing one adult male; (3) bachelor herds of males; and (4) solitary males. Other groupings, e.g. mixed adults of both sexes, were very uncommon. About twice as many adult females were to be found in harem herds as in nursery herds. The mean size of female herds (1 and 2 above) was between seven and nine animals (range 2-40) and of bachelor herds about five animals (range 2-14). Rutting and lambing tended to be seasonal. The lambing peak appeared to be about mid-September, though lambs were seen in every month September-April. It is suggested that lambing is correlated with the onset of Spring rains. Courtship activity seemed to be most intense during February-April. The adult sex ratio was about 85 males : 100 females.