The Impala is a medium-sized antelope, found in Eastern and South African. The Impala reaches 92cm at the shoulders with about 40-76kg; it has a reddish brown coat. The males have a slender, lyre shaped horns of about 92centiments long. Their active mainly during the day, the impalas at ties there gregarious this depends on the climate and the geography.
There is what they call bachelor herds and female herds. The impala has to characteristics’ leap that constitutes an anti-predator; they feed on fruits, dicots, acacia, monocots, forbs. It takes place in three week long rut place towards the end of wet season, typically in May.
Rutting ales fight over dominance, and the victorious male courts female in estrus. The Gestation lasts six to seven months, following a single calf and immediately concealed in a cover. The off spring of an impala is called calf; it suckles for four to six months.
The impala inhabits the woodlands and sometimes on the interface between woodland and savannahs. The impala inhabits areas close to water bodies, while the black-faced impala lives in the southwestern Angola and kaokoland in the northwestern Namibia, the common impala is widespread across its rane nd reintroduced in South Africa and Gabon. The impala is medium sized, slender antelope similar to the kob or Grants gazelle in build. The head and body length is about 130cm.males reach approximately 92cm at the shoulders while females 85cm tall. Males weigh about 76kgs and female’s 53kgs.
Female impalas are hornless and smaller in size than males. Males grow slender shaped horns of about 92cm.The horns, strongly divergented in a circular section hollow at the base. Their arch-like structure allows interlocking of a horn, which helps a male to throw off his opponent during fights, the horns also protect skulls from damage.
The glossy coat of the impala shows two-toned colorations-the reddish brown back and the tan flanks, these are in sharp contrast to white underbelly. Facial features include white rings around the eyes and a light chin and snout. The ears are 17cm long, tipped with black. Black streaks run from the buttocks to the upper parts of hing legs .The bushy white tall, 30cm; they feature a solid black stripe along the midline. It has a strong resemblance to the gerenuk, with shorter horns and black thigh stripes of the impala.
The Impala has a scent gland which is covered by a black tuft of hair on the hind legs, the males are most active during the mating season, females do not go under season changes, and they have four nipples.
The black-faced impala is larger and darker than the female impala. Appearance of the black-faced impala, this one has a dark stripe, on one of the sides of the nose that runs upward to the eyes and reaches the forehead. Other differences include the larger black tip on the ear, and a bushier that is nearly 30% longer tain in the black faced-impala. Impalas have special dental arrangements on the front lower jaw which is similar to the toothcomb.
The impala are the Antelopes of Uganda, their active mainly during the day, thou different activities tend to cease during the midday when it’s hot, they always feed and rest at night. The social groups can always be observed-the territorial males, bachelor’s herds and female herds.
The territorial males always hold territories, where they form their group called Harems, their always demarcated with urine and feaceas and defended against juvenile or male intruders.
The bachelor herds tend to be small in number with less than 30 individuals in a harem. Members always maintain distances of .8feet from away from one another except to spar. Female herds are very in size from 6 to 100, herds occupy home ranges of 90-180 hectares, and they join other herds after living their mothers’ .female herds tend not to have leadership skills.
They groom as a mean of social interaction in bachelors and female herds; in fact, the impala appears to be the only ungulates to display self grooming .Females always groom related impalas, while males associate with unrelated ones. Each partner grooms the other six to twelve times. Social behavior is influenced by climate and geography, as such, the impala are territorial at certain times of the year and gregarious at other times, the other periods can vary broadly among populations.
The population in southern Africa display many territorial behaviors only during the few months of the rut, in Eastern Africa territoriality; population is relatively minimal despite a protected mating season. Moreover, territorial males often tolerate bachelors, even interacted between territoriality males and often bachelors, and may even alternate between territoriality and bachelorhood at different times of the year.
Territorialities were observed for less than four months, this was recorded that the impalas were showed in 94% in the Serengeti National park.
There various prey species for carnivores such as leopards, lions and cheetahs. The Antelopes display to characteristics including leaps ,it can jump up to 3meters,over vegetation and other impala, covering distances of up to 10meters,another ways involves a series of jumps in which the animal may end up landing on the forelegs, it can move its hind leged mid-air in a kicking fashion, lands on all fours and then rebounds. It leaps in different directions, probably to confuse the predators.
The impala seams to confuse the predators by concealing itself in vegetations to escape the predators. They make loud noise through with one to three loud snorts with the mouth closed, followed by two to ten grunts with the month open, with both chins and tail raised, a roar can be heard up to 2kilometers.Impalas can hold their territories for many years.
Impalas have very unique adaptations for grooming, such as their characteristics dental arrangements, to manage ticks before they engage, the load of ticks involves the risk of dehydration during the dry season, this causes predators and gradual wearing out of the teeth.
Impalas groom according to the seasonal prevalence of ticks. Impalas are symbiotically related to oxpekers, which feeds on ticks from parts of antelope’s body which the animal cannot access by itself including the ears, eyelids, necks, forehead and underbelly.
The diet comprises monocots, forbs, dicots, fruits and acacia pods. Impalas prefer places close to water sources, and resort to succulent vegetation if water is scarce. The diet of impala is composed of 45% monocots, 10% fruits and 45% dicots, this increases after the first rains although it declines in the dry season, diets are nutritionally poor in the mid dry season, when impala feed mostly on woody dicots.
There is a research that shows the dicots proportion in the diet is higher in bachelors and females tha territorial males. Impala feed on soft and nutritious grasses such as Digitaria macroblephara, tall grasses, tough such as Themeda triandra and Heteropogon contortus are much avoided. Impala herds are generally more vigilant against predators than feeding in the centre; an individual will defend the patch by feeding on by lowering its head.
Males are sexually mature by the time their one year old, thou a successful mating occurs after four years. The males will start establishing territories as they try to access females. Females conceive after one year and a half, estrus lasts for 24 to 48hours; this occurs every 12-29days in non-pregnant females.
The annual three-week-long rut begins toward the end of wet season, which is typically in May. During the rut session the neck tends to be thicker than that of a bachelor and this always tends to take place during the full moon.
Rutting males fight over dominance, that is often giving out noisy roars and chasing the other, they walk stiffly as they display their necks and horns. Males desist from feeding during rut, probably to devote more time garnering females in estrus; the male will check the females’ urine to ensure that she is estrus.
The female will excite the male by beginning pursue her in the process of courtship; this is by keeping a distance of 3-5meters from her. Male licks the vulva of the female, and holds her tail tone side. The male will try mountain the female, by holding his head high and clasping her sides with his forelegs.
The male will later on lose interest in the female after the first copulation; even thou she will still need to be active and this will lead her to mate with other males.
Gestation period takes place for about six to seven months. Births occur generally in the midday, when it’s time for labour pains the female will begin to isolate herself from the group.
The females can delay in giving birth for an additional month if the conditions are not realistic. When a single calf is born, the calf will be concealed in a cover for these first few weeks on earth. A young calf impala that will later on join the nursery group within the mothers herd.
They will suck for four to six months; the young males are forced out of the group in order to join the bachelor’s herds, while females may stay back. The impalas inhabit the woodlands due to its preferences for shade, this also occurs in the interface between savannahs and woodlands. The places close to water sources are preferred in the southern Africa and the Acacia woodlands. Impalas tend to keep away from areas with tall grasses.
The historical range of impala, spans across eastern and southern Africa .this has remained intact to a great extent, although some areas of Burundi it has disappeared in few areas.
The range extends from central and southern Kenya and northeastern Uganda, in the east to north Kwazylu-Natali in south, westward up to Namibia and southern Angola.
The black-faced impala is confined to southwestern Angola and Kaokoland in northwestern Namibia, although the status of this kind of subspecies has not been monitored for quite a long period since 2000s.the common impala has a wider distribution, and this has been introduced in protected areas of Gabon across southern Africa.
Impalas in Uganda can be spotted in different National parks including Lake Mburo national park, Queen Elizabeth National park.
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