The Jackson Hartebeest

About Jackson Hartebeest

The Jackson Hartebeest, also known as the East African Hartebeest or Coke's Hartebeest, is a large antelope species that is native to East Africa. It belongs to the genus Alcelaphus and the family Bovidae. The scientific name for this species is Alcelaphus buselaphus jacksoni.
The Jackson Hartebeest is named after Frederick John Jackson, a British colonial administrator and explorer who played a significant role in the exploration and development of East Africa during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Jackson first described this subspecies in 1894.
Physical Description:
The Jackson Hartebeest is a large antelope with a distinctive appearance. It has a long, narrow face with a sloping forehead and forward-curving horns. The horns are ridged at the base and can reach lengths of up to 60 centimeters (24 inches) in males, while females have shorter and thinner horns. The body is slender and built for speed, with long legs and a high shoulder hump. The coat of the Jackson Hartebeest is short and coarse, ranging in color from reddish-brown to grayish-brown. It has a white patch on its rump, which is more prominent in males.
Habitat and Distribution:
The Jackson Hartebeest is primarily found in savannah grasslands and open plains of East Africa. Its range extends from southern Sudan and Ethiopia to northern Tanzania and western Kenya. Within this range, it inhabits various types of habitats, including grassy plains, woodland edges, and bushland.
Behavior and Diet:
Jackson Hartebeests are social animals that form small herds consisting of females, their offspring, and a dominant male. These herds can range in size from a few individuals to several dozen members. Males establish territories and defend them from other males through displays of dominance and occasional fights.
The diet of the Jackson Hartebeest consists mainly of grasses, although they may also browse on leaves, shoots, and fruits when available. They are well-adapted to grazing and have specialized teeth and jaws for efficiently consuming grass.
Conservation Status:
The Jackson Hartebeest is currently listed as Near Threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The main threats to its population include habitat loss due to agricultural expansion, hunting for meat and trophies, and competition with livestock for resources. Additionally, the construction of roads and fences has fragmented their habitat, leading to population isolation and reduced genetic diversity.
Efforts are being made to conserve the Jackson Hartebeest through protected areas, such as national parks and reserves, where hunting is prohibited. These protected areas help safeguard their habitats and provide a safe haven for the species. Conservation organizations also work on raising awareness about the importance of preserving this iconic East African antelope.
Commonly found in Murchison Falls National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park.