Creating habitat for Bush
Duiker Sylvicapra grimmia
at Mount Moreland Conservancy
List compiled by Michael Hickman -
links and common names by Angie Wilken
Suitable food plants to be used to create habitat for Bush
Considering the vast and varied diet of
the Bush Duiker it is recommended that the following species in particular should be planted to provide as
varied a range of food plants as possible to support a reasonably large and healthy number of Bush Duiker on
the estate. In addition most of the plants listed below also provide food for the smaller Blue Duiker
Cephalophus monticola, which if not already present on the estate should be
Click on an image and find out more about the listed species
The Bush Duiker, Sylvicapra grimmia, also known as the Grey or Common Duiker, is a small antelope with small horns found in
west, central, east, and southern Africa- essentially everywhere in Africa south of the Sahara, excluding the
horn of Africa and the rainforests of the central and western parts of the
continent. It grows to about 4 feet (1.2 m) in height and
generally weighs 12 to 25 kg; females are generally larger and heavier than their male counterparts. The male
bears horns which can grow to 4.25 inches (11 cm) long. Breeding is year round and the female gives birth to
Duiker ("DIKE-er") is Afrikaans for "diver",
due to their habit of bounding into the undergrowth when alarmed. Silva (Latin) a wood, a
forest; capra (Latin) a she-goat. Named in honour of Dr.
Hermann Nicolas Grimm, a German scientist who originally described the Duiker as early as 1686, though it was
named by Linnaeus in 1758.
Generally they are found in habitat that has
sufficient vegetation cover to allow them to hide—savannah and hilly areas, including the fringes of human
settlements. They are not usually found in thick Forest.
Males are territorial and smear gland
secretions on rocks and branches in order to mark their territories, their preferred resting places are
generally on elevated ground where they can observe their territory. Females, by contrast, prefer deeper
cover. The overall success of this species stems from its ability to inhabit a wide variety of habitats as
well as from its adaptable, generalist diet.
Bush Duikers are almost exclusively browsers.
Their diet consists of leaves especially of Acacia and Combretum, as well as
twigs, fruits, flowers and seeds of a large variety of trees and shrubs. Fruits are seasonally very
important, notably the seed pods of leguminous trees in particular those of Acacia as well as various
varieties of Figs. They will often scavenge for these fruits below trees in which monkeys birds and fruit
bats are feeding. They also dig for tubers and roots and eat unusual items such as fungus, young birds,
caterpillars and lizards. The resin and bark of trees are occasionally a part of the Duiker's diet. They have
been known to eat insects, such as caterpillars, cockroaches, and ants.
They are independent of water and rarely drink
even where water is freely available.
More plant selections - Click on an Imange to
Plant Lists to attract Bio-Diversity