Common Duiker (Sylvicapra grimmia)
aka Bush Duiker & Grey Duiker

The Common Duiker is a small Antelope, found in the West of Kenya and along the coast as far as the Somalia border. They are approximately 4' (1.25 metres) long , standing 20" (50cm) at the shoulder and weighing 3 stone 2lbs (20kg). The Common Duiker has variable colours, from grey, through red-brown to dark brown, depending on the race, but all are the same species. Its underparts are pale grey or white. The front of the legs are darker than the back. It is the only Duiker to walk with a straight back. The Common Duiker often has a distinctive crest of hair on top of its head and a black stripe down its face.

A single Common Duiker, weighing around 1.5kg, is born after a gestation period of 27 weeks, often coinciding with the rainy season. It would live to 12 years in captivity.

Common Duiker are taken by all the big cats. Spotted Hyena and Nile Crocodile also feature in the list of predators. Man has had an impact on the habitat loss of this species, taking over much of its natural habitat, pushing it into National Parks and even those are being eroded. It is also hunted for bushmeat.

A mostly solitary animal, the Common Duiker does pair up and in areas of high density, several individuals will feed in the same vicinity. The Ram will mark and hold territories, pairing with just a single Ewe. Rams have scent glands under their eyes, which they use to mark territories. Rams fight off other Rams and Ewes fight off other Ewes. They are a very shy animal to photograph and, being largely nocturnal, are rarely seen.

Common Duikers mainly feed at night, hiding up in dense thickets or under bushes during the day, although if it is cool, they can be seen feeding at the perimeter of forests. They eat a wide variety of plants, fruits and seeds, browsing as they walk. They will also eat termites, locusts and even small birds. Most often seen browsing around savanna woodland, thickets or open bush.

Other Facts
The Common Duiker is mostly silent, but does bleat like a sheep, if alarmed. Otherwise, if browsing, may give soft snorts. Duikers were named after the Dutch word for diving, which they do at the slightest confrontation, straight into the forest.

Photographed in Kenya's Nairobi National Park.

Categories & Keywords
Subcategory Detail:
Keywords:animal, bush duiker, common duiker, duiker, grey duiker, kenya, wildlife

Common Duiker ~ Young Male

Young male Common (Bush) Duiker. head turned towards the camera.