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Blackbucks: Description, Habitat, Diet and Interesting facts

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Also known as the “Indian antelopes,” or “ black buck,” blackbucks are large mammals that live in several areas of Asia. Blackbucks generally have two different subspecies, which include the northwestern blackbuck and the southeastern blackbuck.

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Nevertheless, scientists still believe that the subspecies might actually be different species. If they are in fact separate species, then they must be closely related. Continue reading to find out more about the blackbuck.

Classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Subphylum: Vertebrata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Superclass: Gnathostomata
  • Subclass: Theria
  • Order: Artiodactyla
  • Faimily: Bovidae
  • Subfaimily: Antilopinae
  • Genus: Antilope
  • Species: A. cervicapra
  • Scientific name: Antilope cervicapra

Description

Male and female blackbucks appear distinctly different. The horns on the male blackbucks are long, spiral, and they have darker coats. Their chest and faces are black, while other parts of their bodies appear brown. The rings around their eyes are while, same with their undersides.

Female blackbucks, however, have no horns, and unlike the males, have brighter caramel-brown coats. Male blackbucks weight more than the females, but both their shoulder height can teach up 27 to 33 inches tall.

Habitat

These fascinating mammals have different habitat preferences, but it depends on the season. They can survive in dry forests, semi-desert places, thorn forests, open woodlands, scrublands, and more.

Blackbucks would commonly seek protection within there natural habitat, away from human interaction and predators. There are several sites throughout India that the government provided as a wildlife reserve for animals such as the blackbuck.

Distribution

Blackbucks can be found dominating some parts of Pakistan, India, and Nepal. Some population of these firm-framed animals lives in several parts of national parks and India sanctuaries.

Some of the earliest protected areas include the Kaimur Wildlife Sanctuary, Gir Forest National Park, Kanha National Park, the Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary, Ranibennur Blackbuck Sanctuary, and more.

Diet

Because the Indian antelope eat plants, they are classified as herbivores. They can eat foods such as grass, mesquite, flowering plants, live oak, witch grass, and acacia trees.

Blackbucks will slowly eat specific types of plants, depends on what they are presented with.

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Domestication

Humans have not been able to domesticate blackbucks in any way.

Can blackbucks make good pets?

Similar to other species of antelope, blackbucks aren’t great pet options. These wild animals require extra care, expensive maintenance, and check up from your local veterinary.

You might have to request a special permit to own a blackbuck, especially since it is illegal to keep one as a pet.

Behavior

Blackbucks are very active during the day, meaning they are diurnal. Feeding during the day is safer for them since predators mostly hunt at night. These social animals live in groups, commonly referred to as herds.

Fighting isn’t uncommon for male blackbucks, and they would fight to establish dominance, food, and to attract females.

Reproduction

Mating happens when females consider a male suitable after witnessing the male’s ability to fight. Male blackbucks can mate with several females, and they reach sexual maturity when they are two years old.

Their gestation period lasts up to 6 months, after which the females give birth to a baby. Baby blackbucks are known as a calf. Calves should be able to stand and move around as soon as it’s birthed and would get weans when they reach two months old.

Beliefs and superstitions about the blackbuck

Blackbucks promote several types of cultural and religious beliefs. The animal’s hide is sacred to those practicing Hinduism. It is also known that high profiled religious official is allowed to sit on it.

Throughout Nepal and India, blackbucks are not hunted, but the local tribes revere them. They are also the subjects of several artistic and painting depictions.

Interesting facts you should know about Black Bucks:

Blackbucks are amazing creatures with colorful coats that would leave anyone mesmerized. These are some interesting facts about blackbucks that make them stand out among other antelope species.

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Protection for Blackbucks

A Bollywood actor, Salman Khan, was convicted for poaching a blackbuck in 1998! Mr. Khan is presently serving a five-year prison sentence. If you are interested in poaching blackbucks or any other animal, you probably would have to think again about it.

Guarded Animals

Even though blackbucks are considered as “Least Concern” by the IUCN, some places provide these animals with additional protections. Despite their stable populations, it is entirely illegal to hunt blackbucks in India unless you are looking to serve jail time.

Blackbuck decrease

The reason India instills these protections is rather simple. The population of blackbucks in India was plummeting back in the 20th century.

The primary cause of this decline was poaching by royalty and recognized members of the society. They hunted blackbucks using specially trained Asiatic flesh-eating cheetahs.

Far away from home

Usually, Blackbucks live in Nepal, Pakistan, and India. However, these Indian antelopes have been recognized by folks in Texas, United States, where farmers raise them for both their milk and meat.

Below are other animals you might be interested in reading about;

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