Black-fronted duiker (Cephalophus nigrifrons)

loading
Black-fronted duiker caught by poacher
loading
Loading more images and videos...

Black-fronted duiker fact file

Black-fronted duiker description

KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassMammalia
OrderCetartiodactyla
FamilyBovidae
GenusCephalophus (1)

The black-fronted duiker is a sturdy and active antelope (3), named for the broad black streak that runs from the nose to its forehead (2), which distinguishes this species from the other duikers of Africa (4). Its glossy coat is a shade of red, chestnut, or dark red-brown (2) (4) (5), with the hair becoming thinner and darker, almost black, on the long legs (2) (5). The short tail is black with a white tip (4), and the hooves are exceptionally long and narrow, being well adapted to this species’ often marshy habitats (5). Both male and female black-fronted duikers have short, pointed horns (3), measuring between 4 and 12 centimetres (4), which are used in combat with other duikers and in defence against predators (3). The subspecies Cephalophus nigrifrons rubidus (the Ruwenzori black-fronted duiker), which is recognised by some as a distinct species, differs in appearance by having a white belly and thicker hair (4).

Size
Head-body length: 80 – 170 cm (2)
Tail length: 7.5 – 15 cm (2)
Weight
14 – 18 kg (2)
Top

Black-fronted duiker biology

Duikers are shy animals that move around alone or in pairs (3). Like other duikers, pairs of black-fronted duikers inhabit a territory that is marked with scented secretions from glands on the face (2). Active by both day and night (5), the duiker follows regular paths from its sleeping shelter to feeding grounds, where it consumes a variety of fruit and succulent vegetation (2) (5). Information on the life history of the black-fronted duiker is lacking, but an individual in captivity lived for nearly 20 years (3).

Top

Black-fronted duiker range

The black-fronted duiker occurs in central Africa, from southern Cameroon to western Kenya and northern Angola (3) (5). The Ruwenzori black-fronted duiker occurs only in the Ruwenzori Mountains, a mountain range located on the border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (4) (5).

Top

Black-fronted duiker habitat

This small antelope is an inhabitant of montane, lowland, and swamp forests (2) (4) (5), from low altitudes up to 3,500 metres above sea level (2) (5), and is often found in marshy areas or close to rivers or streams (5).

Top

Black-fronted duiker status

Classified as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List (1). Subspecies: Cephalophus nigrifrons rubidus (Ruwenzori black-fronted duiker) is classified as Endangered (EN) on the IUCN Red List (1).

IUCN Red List species status – Least Concern

Top

Black-fronted duiker threats

Like other duikers, the black-fronted duiker is being impacted by both hunting for food and habitat destruction (3) (4). As human populations in some parts of central Africa rapidly expand, duikers are increasingly hunted and suitable habitat is lost to human settlements and agriculture (1) (3).

Top

Black-fronted duiker conservation

The black-fronted duiker occurs in numerous protected areas throughout its range, including Lake Lobeke Reserve, Cameroon; Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo; and Ipassa Reserve, Congo (6), which will hopefully help protect this wary antelope from detrimental human activities.

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

Find out more

To find out more about the black-fronted 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:
    http://www.bushmeat.org/
Top

Authentication

Authenticated (13/05/09) by Karl R. Kranz, Executive Vice President for Animal Programs and Chief Operating Officer, Maryland Zoo in Baltimore.
http://www.marylandzoo.org/
Top

Glossary

Subspecies
A population usually restricted to a geographical area that differs from other populations of the same species, but not to the extent of being classified as a separate species.
Territory
An area occupied and defended by an animal, a pair of animals or a colony.
Top

References

  1. IUCN Red List (May, 2009)
    http://www.iucnredlist.org
  2. Kingdon, J. (1997) The Kingdon Field Guide to African Mammals. Academic Press Ltd, London.
  3. Nowak, R.M. (1999) Walker's Mammals of the World. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Maryland.
  4. Stuart, C. and Stuart, T. (1997) Field Guide to the Larger Mammals of Africa. Struik Publishers, Cape Town.
  5. Wilson, V.J. (2005) Duikers of Africa: Masters of the African Forest Floor. Zimbi Books, Pretoria, South Africa.
  6. East, R. (1988) Antelopes: Global Survey and Regional Action Plans. Part 3: West and Central Africa. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.
X
Close

Image credit

Black-fronted duiker caught by poacher  
Black-fronted duiker caught by poacher

© Bruce Davidson / naturepl.com

Nature Picture Library
5a Great George Street
Bristol
BS1 5RR
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0) 117 911 4675
Fax: +44 (0) 117 911 4699
info@naturepl.com
http://www.naturepl.com

X
Close

Link to this photo

ARKive species - Black-fronted duiker (Cephalophus nigrifrons) 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 RSS