Status: Near Threatened
Description: Yellow-backed duikers have a convex body shape, standing taller at the rump than the shoulders. They have very short horns which are cylindrical and ribbed at the base. An orange crest of hair can be found between their horns and the females often grow to be slightly larger than males. It has a large mouth, throat and jaw musculature.
Yellow-backed duikers get their name from the characteristic patch of yellow hairs on their rump, which stand when the duiker is alarmed or feels threatened. Its body is well suited for the forest and in order to escape predators it can quickly dive into thick bushes to escape. Hence the reason for its name "duiker" which means "to Dive" in Afrikaans.
Fun Facts !
Ecology and Behaviour
Yellow-backed duikers are active at all times of the day and night. They live mainly solitarily or in couples, rarely in even small herds. Their elusive habits mean that very little is known about their ecology and demography compared to other antelopes. They feed selectively on plants or plant parts such as shoots, roots, leaves, and buds, but their diet is mainly made up of fruits. Yellow-backed duikers are one of the few antelopes that can eat meat. Occasionally, these forest antelopes will kill and eat small animals, such as birds.
It is categorized as a "Near threatened" animal on the IUCN Red list.
Distribution and Habitat
Yellow-backed duikers are mainly forest dwelling and live in semi-deciduous forests, rain forests, riparian forests, and montane forests. However, they can be found in open bush, isolated forest islands, and clearings on the savanna as well.
Interaction with humans
Duikers are the most heavily hunted species across forested Africa. The animal's flighty, easy-to-scare nature causes the yellow-backed duiker to freeze up in torchlight which makes them very easy to hunt at night. When the animal is stunned by torchlight, hunters can almost walk right up to it.
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