Woody Cape: Home of the Blue Duiker
One of the species I’m very interested in at Woody Cape is the Blue Duiker. The Blue Duiker is the world’s smallest antelope. Yes, that makes South Africa, and in particular Addo Elephant National Park, home to both the world’s largest antelope (the Eland) and the world’s smallest antelope.
Well, technically speaking, there seems to be a lot of competition for the title of “The Smallest Antelope In The World”. In my books the Blue Duiker easily shares this title with several other small antelope.
Blue Duiker (Blouduiker – Cephalophus monticola) at the Woody Cape
The Blue Duiker has an interesting slit on each side of its face used for scent marking. Both males and females have short horns, although the horns can sometimes be absent from females.
The main diet of the Blue Duiker consists of freshly fallen leaves, flowers and fruit. However being a true Duiker at heart they also indulge in some carnivorous activities and will supplement their diet with animal material. Sure, a big Common/Grey Duiker can stalk and hunt a mouse/baby bird, but what’s available to a hungry little Blue Duiker. Well, apparently they have a sweet tooth for ants, but I’m sure carrion, insects and small vertebrates also form part of their diet.
They are often found near water. I haven’t seen any fresh water close to where I’ve camera trapped these Blue Duiker, so I’m assuming they can manage without free standing water if there is enough moisture in the food and some dew/rain might help as well.
Sneaking past the camera
Blue Duiker are often hunted by humans using snares. Despite this they can still be found in many places living very close to human developed areas. This is somewhat surprising to me since the species does not have a particularly fast breeding cycle (about 7 months gestation) nor do they produce many young (usually only one).
To me the adults look very small and vulnerable. One would expect them to be very high on many predators’ snack list. But then again I’m yet to photograph any predator that would be a serious threat to an adult Blue Duiker… Maybe the habitat provides enough cover to keep them safe.
Notice the tiny horns
The first Blue Duiker image (at the top) was photographed with my trusty old Bushnell Trophy Cam 2009 (without the built in viewer). It has been a great workhorse and I’ve been very happy with it.
The two images above where taken by my newer Bushnell Trophy Cam XLT (with the built in viewer). My first unit kept on over exposing most of the images. It must have had an electrical from the start because the battery life deteriorated steadily. The unit eventually experienced a full on electrical failure, melting parts of the battery compartment in the process. It was still under warranty so I got it replaces and the new unit is much better. I’m happy with its performance thus far.
I also own one of the new Cuddeback Attack (white flash) camera traps. The image below of
Article source: http://remotecamera-sa.blogspot.com/2012/05/little-guys.html