Bate’s Dwarf Antelopes

Nigerian Bates Dwarf Antelope
Neotragus batesi, © Ch Boudet – Planet’ Mammifères

Bate’s Dwarf Antelopes, Neotragus batesi, are very small antelopes, only some 5.5 cm long, and weighing from 2-3 kg. Males are a lot bigger than the female and it is only they that posses horns. This species considered shy and secretive because of its inconspicuous coat, coupled with the way it moves about its dense habitat. This solitary animal occurs as the nominate batesi subspecies in the lowland forest zone of southeastern Nigeria.

Diet of the Bate’s dwarf antelope comprises almost entirely of leaves but buds, shoots, fungi, grasses and herbs are also eaten. They are unpopular with farmers for the taste they have for human food crops such as peanuts. Although hunted for bushmeat, this antelope is not commonly found in urban market, probably because the meat is quite dry. Young are born after a gestation period lasting six months and are weaned at 2 months after birth.

Tope Apoola
Profession: Writer