Observations on Territorial Behaviour of Springbok, Antidorcas Marsupialis, in the Bontebok National Park, Swellendam

  • JHM David


Some adult males defended territories of up to 40 ha in size all year round. Most males were seen both alone and with females on their territories. Males did not have permanent harems, since groups of females were fluid in composition and highly mobile. Groups of females moved into and out of male territories at will, despite attempts by the male to prevent them leaving.

For ten marked males the minimum period spent on a territory ranged from 6,5 to 26 months. These males appeared to cover a wide age-range from young adult to old. Results of a quantitative study of daily activity of selected territorial males are presented. Males were observed for 12 consecutive daylight hours for a total of 13 days. The most important activity on a year-round basis was grazing. Courtship and defence of territory were second in importance.

Aspects of territorial behaviour, such as courtship displays, defence of territory (by chasing out trespassing males), and advertising of territory by means of linked urination-defaecation displays on discrete dung-sites, are described.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2224-073X
print ISSN: 1562-7020