The Black wildebeest (Connochaetes gnou) also known as White-tailed gnu, is an ungulate that lives in the savannas of central and eastern South Africa. They are very gregarious animals.
They form groups consisting of males and females with calves (30 to 500 individuals, usually), but are also seen groups composed solely of females and their offspring or by single males. In periods of drought, animals of various groups gather in herds which can reach thousands of individuals.
These herds migrate towards the major rivers and lakes across considerable distances. The wildebeests are often associated with other African ungulates such as impala, giraffes and zebras in particular. They may also be associated with the ostriches.
The coat is dark brown, almost black in older males. On the muzzle, and under the neck, they have a dense row of black hairs. Exhibiting a long mane that extends from the neck to the back.
The head is large, the neck is short and the legs are relatively long. Horns fold forward in an arc and then are also too bent up measuring up to 78 cm in males, and 45 to 60 cm in females. The shoulders are much higher than the croup. The tail is white, giving it the it's common name, White-tailed gnu.
Black wildebeest - Diet
This species as their relative Blue Wildebeest feeds mainly on herbaceous.
Black wildebeest - Reproduction
During the mating season, which varies with geographic location, the males fight each other to get to form their harems. The gestation period is nine to ten months, after which a calf is born, who is breastfed until the age of nine months (possibly until the first years of age). Females reach sexual maturity at two to three years of age and males from the age of four.
Black wildebeest - Conservation status and major threats
It is a species considered at low risk but conservation dependent (according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature). It existed in the past thousands of individuals in South Africa, but hunting and habitat destruction due to agricultural expansion, led the Black Wildebeest almost to extinction.
Reintroduction programs were conducted, and currently exists in protected areas in South Africa, the species reproduces well in zoos.
Species: C. gnou