Common Name: Impala
Scientific Name: Aepyceros melampus
Description: This tan colored antelope is well known for its tremendous leaping ability. When being pursued, jumps of 9 m have been seen as it makes for cover. It is a common prey for lion, leopard, hyena, and wild dogs. Body weight is up to 80 kg for a male. Males also have curved horns of 0.5 to 0.75 m.
Range: East Africa South of Kenya to northern border of South Africa.
Habitat: Open country
Diet: Herbivorous. Impala graze on grass, leaves, and other greens.
Social Life: Although they often form smaller segregated groups, herds of both sexes numbering in the hundreds occasionally gather as they seek food. Impala also establish territories. Females entering a males territory will be approached by the male and possibly come under his rule. Mothers give birth after a 6-7 month gestation. Young males are usually ousted by an adult male. Females reach sexual maturity shortly after their first birthday. Longevity is known into the mid to late teens.
Conservation: One subspecies petersi is listed as endangered by IUCN and USDI. The rest of the population is not listed.
Recommended LINKS & BOOKS
Africam's Field Guide page on impalas.
This is a great book to have and it's just been updated. And if you're planning a trip to Africa, make sure to read this first and then bring it with you! It's that good. Click here to buy.
Dr. David Macdonald's Encyclopedia of Mammals is one of the great standards for mammal information including the impalas. Purchase it through Amazon.com by clicking on the photo to help the zoo!
Another excellent text on African mammals is The Kingdon Field Guide to African Mammals.