African chevrotain, Chevrotain aquatique, Chevrotain africain, Afrikanisches Hirschferkel, Zwergmoschustier, Antilope amizclero enano de agua, Giminan, Diaure ndiyam, Isè
Shoulder height: 30-40 cm
Tail length: ~10 cm
Adult weight: 7-16 kg
The red-brown coat is marked with horizontal white stripes and rows of white spots, which help camouflage the chevrotain in the forest. The undersides are white, and the throat bears a series of inverted white "V"s. The hindquarters are larger than the front, giving the body the shape of a torpedo when the head is held low to the ground. Females tend to be larger than males. In males, the upper canine teeth are enlarged into small tusks which protrude from the mouth.
- The bold pattern of white stripes and spots makes it difficult to confuse the water chevrotain with other species which share its African forest habitat. Duikers (Cephalophinae) are similar in size and form, but lack distinctive white markings and typically have horns.
- The related Asian spotted chevrotains (Moschiola) are superficially similar, with white markings on a dull brown coat. They are significantly smaller than the water chevrotain (weighing only 2-4 kg).
Reproduction and Development
Litter size: 1
Weaning: After 3-6 months.
Sexual Maturity: females at ~17 months; males between 5-27 months.
Life span: Up to 13 years, typically 8.
Births occur throughout the year, although peaks in births occur in January and in July/August. Young chevrotains are "hiders", lying tucked away and visited periodically by their mother to nurse.
Ecology and Behavior
Family group: Solitary.
Diet: Primarily fruit, but also leaves and stems.
Main Predators: Most forest predators. Young are also preyed upon by birds of prey.
Habitat and Distribution
IUCN Red List: Least concern (2008).
- CITES Listing: Not listed (2009).Threats: Habitat loss (agriculture and human development), hunting by humans for food.
- CITES Listing: Not listed (2009).
The estimated total population is 278,000.