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The Blackbuck is the only living species in the genus Antilope. Male blackbucks are dark brown, black, and white and have long, twisted horns, while females. Antilope cervicapra. Blackbuck. Taxonomy. Antilope cervicapra [Linnaeus, ]. Citation: Syst. Nat., 10th ed., Type locality: India, Travancore, inland of. Blackbuck: Blackbuck, (Antilope cervicapra), an antelope (family Bovidae) indigenous to the plains of India. The blackbuck is an antelope of the same tribe.

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The blackbuck Antilope cervicapraalso known as the Indian antelopeis an antelope found in IndiaNepal and Pakistan. The blackbuck is the sole extant member of the genus Antilope. The species was described and given its binomial name by Swedish zoologist Carl Linnaeus in Two subspecies are recognized.

The white fur on the chin and around the eyes is in sharp contrast with the black stripes on the face. The coat of cervicaprq shows two-tone colouration: On the other hand, females and juveniles are yellowish fawn to tan. The blackbuck is a diurnal antelope active mainly during the day.

Three kinds of groups, typically small, are the female, male and bachelor herds. Males often adopt lekking as a strategy to garner females for mating. While other males are not allowed into these territories, females often visit these places to forage. The ceervicapra can thus attempt mating with her. Herbivores, blackbuck graze on low grasses, occasionally browsing as well.

Antilope cervicapra – Wikipedia

Females become sexually mature at eight months, but mate no earlier than two years. Males mature later, at one-and-a-half years.

Mating takes place throughout the year. Gestation is anhilope six months long, after which a single calf is born. The lifespan is typically 10 to 15 years. The blackbuck inhabits grassy plains and slightly forested areas.

India Biodiversity Portal

Due to their regular need of water, they prefer areas where water is perennially available. The antelope is native to and found mainly in India, while it is extinct in Bangladesh. Formerly widespread, only small, scattered herds are seen today, largely confined to protected areas. During the 20th century, blackbuck numbers declined sharply due to excessive huntingdeforestation and habitat degradation. The blackbuck has been introduced in Argentina and the United States.

The blackbuck has significance in Hinduism ; Indian and Nepali villagers do not harm the antelope. The scientific name of the blackbuck is Antilope cervicapra. Its generic name stems from the Latin word antalopus “horned animal”. The blackbuck is the sole living member of the genus Antilope and is classified under the family Bovidae.

The species was described and given its binomial name by Swedish zoologist Carl Linnaeus in the 10th edition of Systema Naturae in AntilopeEudorcasGazella and Nanger form a clade within their tribe Antilopini.

A study of the detailed karyotype of Antilope suggested that within this clade, Antilope is closest to the Gazella group. Two subspecies are recognised, [19] [20] although they might be independent species: The blackbuck shows variation in its diploid chromosome number.


Males have while females have Males have a XY1Y2 sex chromosome. However, ina study found that two artiodactylsthe blackbuck and the sitatungatoo showed this abnormality.

Generally the X chromosome constitutes 5 percent of the haploid chromosomal complement; but the X chromosome of the blackbuck this percentage is Portions of both peculiarly large chromosomes show delayed replication. A study found lower protein polymorphism in Antilope in comparison with AntidorcasEudorcas and Gazella. This was attributed to a history of rapid evolution of an autapomorphic phenotype of Antilope.

This might have been aided by a particularly strong selection of a few dominant males due to its lekking behaviour. The blackbuck is a moderately sized antelope. The horns diverge forming a “V”-like shape. Darkness typically increases as the male ages. Blackbuck bear a close resemblance to gazelles, and are distinguished mainly by the fact that while gazelles are brown in the dorsal parts, blackbuck develop a dark brown or black colour in these parts.

Blackbuck is native to the Indian subcontinentbut extinct in Bangladesh.

Inthe population was estimated at Blackbuck inhabits grassy plains and thinly forested areas where perennial water sources are available for its daily need to drink.

Herds travel long distances to obtain water. Cold climates do not suit the blackbuck. Their numbers are diminishing due to habitat loss and attack by the increased number of stray dogs.

Cerviczpra from the base of the Himalayas to the neighbourhood of Cape Comorin the southernmost locality known to me is Point Calimereand from the Punjab to Lower Assam, in open plains, not in Ceylon nor east of the Bay of Bengal. Not found on hills nor in thickly wooded tracts, and wanting throughout the Malabar coast south of the neighbourhood of Surat.

Antelopes are most abundant in cetvicapra North-west Provinces, Rajputana, and parts of the Deccanbut are locally distributed and keep to particular tracts. Today, only small, scattered herds are seen that are largely confined to protected areas. The antelope was introduced in Texas in the Edwards Plateau in Bythe population had increased and the antelope was the most populous exotic animal in Texas after the chital.

Blackbuck have been introduced into Argentinanumbering about 8, individuals as of the early s. The blackbuck is a diurnal antelope active mainly during the daythough activity slows down at noon as days grow hotter toward summer. Large herds have an edge over smaller ones in that danger can be detected faster, cervjcapra individual vigilance is lower in the former.

Greater time is spent in feeding by large herds. A disadvantage for large herds, however, is that traveling requires more resources. Males often adopt lekking as a strategy on the part of males to garner females for mating. Territories are established by males on the basis of the local distribution of female groups, which in turn is determined antolope the habitat, so as to ensure greater access to antilooe.

The male can attempt mating with visiting females. Lekking is a demanding strategy, as the males often have to bear injuries — thus it is a tactic typically adopted by strong, cergicapra males. Males may either defend their mates or cervicappra to forcibly copulate with them. Weaker males, who may not be dominant, might choose the second method. Blackbuck are severely affected by natural calamities such as floods and droughts, from which they can take as long as five years to recover.


Village dogs are reported to kill fawns, but are unlikely to successfully hunt and kill adults. A recent study conducted at the Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary at Nannaj in Maharashtra has found that blackbuck show flexible habitat-use behaviour as the resources and risks change seasonally in the landscape.

Human activities strongly influenced blackbuck, but the presence of the tiny cervicalra allowed blackbuck to persist in the landscape. Being herbivores, blackbuck graze on low grasses, occasionally browsing as well. They prefer sedgesfall witchgrassmesquiteand live oak.

They have occasionally been observed browsing on acacia anfilope in the Cholistan Desert. Digestion of nutrients, especially crude proteinswas poor in summer, but more efficient in the rainy and winter seasons. Consequently, crude protein intake in summer was very low, even cervicalra the recommended value. Blackbuck had a lower food consumption in summer.

The fruits of Prosopis juliflora are often eaten, and blackbuck may play a role in their dispersal. Mating takes place throughout the year; peaks occur during spring and fall in Texas.

The dominant male pursues the female with his nose pointing upward, smells her urine and shows a flehmen response. The female shows her receptivity by waving her tail and thumping the hindlegs on the ground. This is followed by several mounting attempts, and copulation.

The whole process may last as long as six hours. The female will remain still for some time after copulation, following which she may start grazing. The male may then move on to mate with another female. Gestation is typically six months long, [47] after which a single calf is born. Juvenile males turn black gradually, darkening notably after the third year.

During the 20th century, blackbuck numbers declined sharply due to excessive hunting, deforestation and habitat degradation.

Some blackbucks are killed illegally especially amtilope the species is sympatric with nilgai. Until India’s independence inblackbuck and chinkara were hunted in many princely states with specially trained captive Asiatic cheetahs. The blackbuck has associations with the Indian culture. The antelope might have been a source of food in the Indus Valley civilisation — BCE ; bone remains have been discovered in sites such as Dholavira [54] and Mehrgarh.

The animal is mentioned in Sanskrit texts as the krishna mrig. The hide of the blackbuck krishnajina in Hindi is deemed to be sacred in Hinduism. According to the scriptures, it is to be sat upon only by brahmin s priestssadhu s and yogi s sagesforest-dwellers and bhikshu s mendicants. In some agricultural areas in northern Indiathe blackbuck are found in large numbers and raid crop fields.

InBollywood actor Salman Khanin a high-profile case, was sentenced to five antilpe imprisonment for poaching a blackbuck in Barwani coat of arms.