Bongo

BongoBongo — The Western or Lowland Bongo, Tragelaphus eurycerus eurycerus, is a herbivorous, mostly nocturnal forest ungulate and among the largest of the African forest antelope species.

Bongos are characterised by a striking reddish-brown coat, black and white markings, white-yellow stripes and long slightly spiralled horns. Indeed, bongos are the only Tragelaphid in which both sexes have horns. Bongos have a complex social interaction & are found in African dense forest mosaics.

The Lowland Bongo faces an ongoing population decline and the IUCN Antelope Specialist Group considers the western or lowland bongo, T. eurycerus, to be Lower Risk & is classified as Near Threatened on the conservation status scale.

The Eastern or Mountain Bongo, Tragelaphus eurycerus isaaci, of Kenya has a coat even more vibrant than that of Tragelaphus eurycerus eurycerus. The Mountain Bongo is only found in the wild in one remote region of central Kenya. The Mountain Bongo is classified by the IUCN Antelope Specialist Group as endangered with more specimens in captivity than in the wild.

In 2000, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) upgraded the Bongo to a Species Survival Plan (SSP) Participant and in 2006 named the Bongo Restoration to Mount Kenya Project to its list of the Top Ten Wildlife Conservation Success Stories of the year.

Bongos are found in dense tropical jungles with dense undergrowth up to an altitude of 4,000 meters (12,800 ft) in Central Africa, with isolated populations in Kenya, and the following west African countries:

Historically, Bongos occurred in three disjunct parts of Africa: East, Central and West. Today all three populations’ ranges have shrunk in size due to habitat loss for agriculture and uncontrolled timber cutting as well as hunting for meat.

Bongos favour disturbed forest mosaics that provide fresh, low-level green vegetation. Such habitats may be promoted by heavy browsing by elephants, fires, flooding, tree-felling (natural or by logging) and fallowing. Mass bamboo die-off provides ideal habitat in East Africa.

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