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An Ultimate Ungulate Fact Sheet
Cephalophus adersi
Aders's duiker
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Common name:
Scientific name:
Other names:
Aders's duiker
Cephalophus adersi
Zanzibar duiker, Dwarf red duiker, Céphalophe de Aders, Adersducker, Paa nunga or Nunga, Mwalimu, Kungu marara, Harake, Guno

Physical Characteristics

Head and body length: 70 cm
Shoulder height: 40 cm
Tail length: 11 cm
Adult weight: 7-12 kg

Aders's duiker is often described as one of the most beautiful antelopes. The body is covered with soft, silky hair. The back and rump are brownish-red in color, becoming increasingly gray on the neck. The undersides are bright white, and the line where the red and white meet on the sides is continued by a distinctive wide band of white that crosses the thighs and buttocks. The legs are reddish, turning black near the hooves; they are marked with irregular white spots, especially the front legs. The face has no distinct markings, but has a tuft of bright red hair on the forehead. Both sexes have short pointed horns; those of males grow 3-5 cm long, and those of females are only 1-3 cm in length.

Similar species

Reproduction and Development

Very little is known about the reproductive habits of this species. Pregnancies are known to occur between June and November, but it is not known whether Aders's duiker breeds year-round. A single young is typical.

Ecology and Behavior

Aders's duiker is primarily diurnal. Individuals begin feeding around dawn and continue until midday, when they stop to rest and ruminate. Foraging resumes mid-afternoon and continues until nightfall. Like many duikers, this species will follow birds or monkeys in order to feed on food items dropped from the trees. Aders's duiker can obtain sufficient moisture from its food and does not need to drink regularly. This species is very shy, alert, and has a keen sense of hearing.

Family group: Typically solitary.
Diet: Leaves and fallen fruit.
Main Predators: Leopard and python (where still present).

Habitat and Distribution

Aders's duikers live in woodlands and thickets, where dense vegetation provides shelter. They are found in only three small areas: Boni-Dodori and Arabuko-Sukoke in Kenya, and in Zanzibar, Tanzania (on the large island of Unguja, as well as two introduced populations on Chumbe and Mnemba Islands). The approximate range is depicted in the map below.

Range Map
(Compiled from Wilson, 2001; Finnie, 2008; Andanje et al., 2011)

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List: Vulnerable (2016).
CITES Listing: Not listed.
Threats: Overhunting for meat and habitat loss.

Only 1,000 individuals are thought to survive in Zanzibar and Arabuko-Sukoke, a decline in numbers of over 75% in the past twenty years. However, the recently-discovered population in Boni-Dodori (Kenya) appears to be much larger, bringing the total population to approximately 20,000 animals.

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