The southern reedbuck is a monogamous antelope, with a pair inhabiting a territory which is defended by the male from other males (3) (4). Within this territory the southern reedbuck is active during the night and day, following regularly-used paths to reach suitable resting and grazing sites and a source of water (3) (5). Fresh grass makes up the majority of this grazing antelope’s diet, often unpalatable grass species that are avoided by other antelopes, but it will also feed on herbs (3) (5). Unlike some other species inhabiting this frequently arid, hot region of Africa, the southern reedbuck needs to drink water from every few days, to several times a day during the dry season (3), sometimes resulting in up to 20 southern reedbucks congregating around a water source (5).
The southern reedbuck breeds year round, although there is a peak in the summer rainy season. A single young is born after a gestation period of around eight months, and remains amongst the dense grass cover in which it was born for the next two months (3). Areas of tall grass, which provide sufficient cover during this critical time, are therefore an essential habitat requirement of the southern reedbuck (4). During this period, the female does not stay with her young, but instead visits it for just 10 to 30 minutes each day (3). Female southern reedbucks reach maturity in their second year of life, at which point they leave their parent’s territory. Males, which reach maturity at a slightly older age, may remain with the family group until their third year (4). This antelope has an average lifespan of ten years (3).