The Common Eland

Categories The Common Eland

About the Common Eland

The Common Eland, also known as the Southern Eland or Cape Eland, is a species of large antelope native to the savannah and grassland regions of southern and eastern Africa. It is the second-largest antelope species in the world, surpassed only by the Giant Eland.
Physical Description:
The Common Eland is characterized by its large size and distinctive appearance. Adult males can reach a shoulder height of up to 1.6 meters (5.2 feet) and weigh between 400 and 1,000 kilograms (880 to 2,200 pounds). Females are slightly smaller, with a shoulder height of around 1.4 meters (4.6 feet) and a weight ranging from 300 to 600 kilograms (660 to 1,320 pounds).
Both males and females have long, spiral-shaped horns that can grow up to 1 meter (3.3 feet) in length. The horns are present in both sexes but are generally larger in males. The coat of the Common Eland varies in color from light tan to reddish-brown, with vertical white stripes on the torso and limbs. This coloration provides effective camouflage in their natural habitat.
Habitat and Distribution:
Common Elands inhabit a wide range of habitats, including open grasslands, woodlands, and mountainous regions. They are found in several countries across southern and eastern Africa, including South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, and Sudan.
These antelopes are highly adaptable and can survive in both arid and semi-arid environments. They are known for their ability to withstand extreme temperatures and can tolerate both hot and cold climates.
Common Elands are primarily diurnal animals, meaning they are most active during daylight hours. They are social animals that live in herds consisting of females, their offspring, and a dominant male. The size of the herds can vary from a few individuals to several dozen, depending on the availability of resources.
During the breeding season, known as the rut, males engage in fierce battles to establish dominance and gain access to females. These battles involve locking horns and pushing against each other. The dominant male will mate with multiple females within his territory.
Elands are herbivores and primarily feed on grasses, leaves, and shoots. They have a unique digestive system that allows them to extract nutrients from tough and fibrous plant material. This adaptation enables them to survive in areas with limited food resources.
Conservation Status:
The Common Eland is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Although their populations have declined in some regions due to habitat loss and hunting, they are still widespread and relatively abundant throughout their range.
In certain protected areas, such as national parks and game reserves, efforts are being made to conserve and manage Eland populations. These conservation measures include anti-poaching patrols, habitat restoration, and community-based conservation initiatives.
The common eland Taurotragus oryx is the one found in Uganda with over 1500 animals most of which are in Lake Mburo National Park. However other populations are found Kidepo Valley National Park and Pian-upe Wildlife Reserve. Can only be found in Lake Mburo National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park, and Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve.