Bay duiker (Cephalophus dorsalis)

loading
Bay duiker
loading
Loading more images and videos...

Bay duiker fact file

Bay duiker description

KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassMammalia
OrderCetartiodactyla
FamilyBovidae
GenusCephalophus (1)

Duikers are small, shy antelopes which, while they do their best to avoid encountering humans, are being impacted by the unsustainable bushmeat trade. The name duiker comes from the Afrikaans word for ‘diver’, after their habit of diving for cover when disturbed (4). Bay duikers are fairly heavily built, with a coarsely textured red or yellowish-brown coat. A dark line runs along the back of the bay duiker, from the nose to the base of the tail, and a dark stripe may also run along the centre of the belly (2) (5) (6). The short forelegs and long hindlegs are black or dark brown (6). The head of the bay duiker is broader and flatter that in other duikers, with a short muzzle and eyes high on the head. This is due to its enlarged cheek muscles, an adaptation for efficient chewing action (2). Bay duikers have very short, conical horns, and underneath each of the eyes is a large scent gland, thought to be used to mark their territories (6).

Also known as
black-backed duiker.
French
Céphalophe À Bande Dorsale Noire, Céphalophe Bai.
Spanish
Duiquero Bayo.
Size
Head-body length: 70 – 100 cm (2)
Weight
15 – 24 kg (2)
Top

Bay duiker biology

Bay duikers are nocturnal animals (6) that shelter during the day in dense vegetation, in hollow trees or under fallen trunks (2), which makes them a difficult animal to study (4). They are known to primarily eat fruit (7), such as wild mango and African fruitbread (2), and thus are likely to play an important role as seed dispersers in the forest environment (8). Bay duikers also browse frequently on leaves (7), and surprisingly, this timid antelope is also known to occasionally stalk, kill and eat birds (2).

Duikers, as well as avoiding humans, do not even generally associate with each other. They live at very low densities (2), and usually occur alone, although sometimes they are seen in pairs (4), and are thought to be monogamous (4). The female gives birth to only a single calf, which hides among vegetation for the first few weeks, and spends very little time with the mother (4). The calf is weaned by five months of age, reaches sexual maturity around a year old, and has a lifespan of 10 to 12 years (9).

Top

Bay duiker range

Occurs in the equatorial lowland forest belt of Africa, from Senegal to Lake Tanganyika (2).

Top

Bay duiker habitat

Bay duikers generally inhabit rainforest, where they can shelter in hollow trees, under fallen trunks and in dense thickets (2). They seem to have a preference for primary rainforest, and appear to be more common in areas where no forest destruction has taken place (6).

Top

Bay duiker status

Classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List (1), and listed on Appendix II of CITES (3).

IUCN Red List species status – Least Concern

Top

Bay duiker threats

The bay duiker has a very large distribution but its popularity with bushmeat hunters and traders has resulted in numbers declining in many West African countries. The bay duiker is now rare in Nigeria and Sierra Leone and extinct in Uganda (2). Duikers are easily hunted with either gun or cable snare, easily transportable by foot, and have sufficient meat to be profitable, making them one of the primary targets for both subsistence and commercial hunting activities (8). Unfortunately, the majority of duiker hunting at present is unsustainable (8). In addition, the bay duiker’s preference for undisturbed forest makes is vulnerable to habitat degradation, caused by human activities such as cultivation. For example, population numbers in Togo are declining due to a combination of habitat destruction and hunting (6).

Top

Bay duiker conservation

The bay duiker is listed on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), which means that international trade in this species should be carefully regulated (3). However, to address the threat of the unregulated bushmeat trade, further action is required. Research into the factors influencing the trade, and efforts to educate the public about the threats facing duikers and their importance, are some of the measures suggested (8). This is required to protect not only the future of bay duikers, but also to ensure this valuable resource is around for future generations of Africans.

View information on this species at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre.
Top

Find out more

For further information on the bay duiker and the bushmeat trade see:

  • Wilson, V.J. (2005) Duikers of Africa: Masters of the African Forest Floor. Zimbi Books, Pretoria, South Africa.
  • Bushmeat Crisis Task Force:
    www.bushmeat.org

Top

Authentication

Authenticated (19/03/08) by Karl R. Kranz, Vice President for Animal Programs and Chief Operating Officer,Maryland Zoo in Baltimore.
http://www.marylandzoo.org

Top

Glossary

Bushmeat
The meat derived from wildlife of African forests, or ‘bush’.
Monogamous
Having only one mate during a breeding season, or throughout the breeding life of a pair.
Nocturnal
Active at night.
Primary rainforest
Rainforest that has remained undisturbed for a long time and has reached a mature condition.
Top

References

  1. IUCN Red List (June, 2009)
    http://www.iucnredlist.org
  2. Kingdon, J. (1997) The Kingdon Field Guide to African Mammals. Academic Press, San Diego.
  3. CITES (September, 2007)
    http://www.cites.org
  4. Macdonald, D.W. (2006) The Encyclopedia of Mammals. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  5. Stuart, C. and Stuart, T. (1997) Field Guide to the Larger Mammals of Africa. Struik Publishers, Cape Town.
  6. Wilson, V.J. (2005) Duikers of Africa: Masters of the African Forest Floor. Zimbi Books, Pretoria, South Africa.
  7. Feer, F. (1989) Comparative diet of Cephalophus callipygus and C. dorsalis , sympatric bovids of the African sempervirent forest. Mammalia, 53(4): 563 - 620.
  8. Eves, H.E. and Stein, J.T. (2002) BCTF Fact Sheet: Duikers and the African Bushmeat Trade. Bushmeat Crisis Task Force, Washington, DC. Available at:
    http://www.bushmeat.org
  9. Ultimate Ungulate (September, 2007)
    http://www.ultimateungulate.com/Artiodactyla/Cephalophus_dorsalis.html
X
Close

Image credit

Bay duiker  
Bay duiker

© Kenneth W. Fink / www.ardea.com

Ardea wildlife pets environment
59 Tranquil Vale
London
SE3 0BS
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0) 208 318 1401
ardea@ardea.co.uk
http://www.ardea.com

X
Close

Link to this photo

ARKive species - Bay duiker (Cephalophus dorsalis) Embed this ARKive thumbnail link ("portlet") by copying and pasting the code below.

Terms of Use - The displayed portlet may be used as a link from your website to ARKive's online content for private, scientific, conservation or educational purposes only. It may NOT be used within Apps.

Read more about

X
Close

MyARKive

MyARKive offers the scrapbook feature to signed-up members, allowing you to organize your favourite ARKive images and videos and share them with friends.

Play the Team WILD game:

Team WILD, an elite squadron of science superheroes, needs your help! Your mission: protect and conserve the planet’s species and habitats from destruction.

Conservation in Action

Which species are on the road to recovery? Find out now »

Help us share the wonders of the natural world. Donate today!

Blog