Kobus Leche

Medium-sized antelope with hindquarters which are considerably higher than their forequarters. They have chestnut upper parts and flanks, and white on the under sides.

Characteristics

Distribution
Found in the swamps and waterways of southern Africa, from western Zambia, northern Botswana and the eastern Caprivi in Namibia to the Bangwelu swamps in north-eastern Zambia.

Social structure
Rams are territorial and do not share space, but males which fail to establish territories congregate in bachelor herds.

Territories are actively defended.
Ewes and their offspring form breeding herds and move freely between territories of contesting territorial rams, who will compete for mating favours only while receptive ewes are within their domains. Territorial behaviour may last up to a few months during the mating season.

Range differentiation
Three subspecies occur in the swamps and waterways of southern Africa. The red lechwe (Kobus leche leche) occurs in separate populations in western Zambia, northern Botswana and the eastern Caprivi in Namibia.

The Kafue lechwe (Kobus leche kafuensis) is found on the floodplains of the Kafue in Zambia , and the black lechwe (Kobus leche smithemani) occurs in the Bangwelu swamps of north-eastern Zambia.

Habitat
Found on floodplains and seasonal swamps, seldom moving far from the water.

Feeding
Lechwe feed on semi-aquatic plants found on the floodplains of their habitats.

Breeding
Breeding is not strictly seasonal, especially not amongst the Botswana populations. However, there is a tendency for ewes to drop their calves during late winter and early summer when water levels recede. Gestation period is two-hundred-and-twenty-five days.