Derby eland

Derby eland

Taurotragus derbianus

Common name:

Derby eland

Scientific name:

Taurotragus derbianus

Alternative common names:


The Derby eland is the largestspeciesof antelope in the world. Males tend to be larger than females, weighing between 400 and 1000 kg. It is anherbivore, eating grasses, foliage and branches.

Additional Information

Where does this species come from?

Western and Central Africa

What is its invasive status in South Africa?

NEMBA-Category 2

Where in South Africa is it a problem?

Limpopo Province and KwaZulu-Natal Province.

How does it spread?

Spread via pet trade. They’ve made it the target of domestication efforts in Africa and Russia, due to being great source of large quantities of tender meat, quality hides, and milk with higher protein and fat content than milk from dairy cows.

Why is it a problem?

Not yet known in South Africa. Only found in game reserves were a permit is required.

What does it look like?

Description: The Derby eland is the largest species of antelope in the world. They have a body length between 2.2 and 3.45 m, a tail length of 90 cm, and they weigh between 300 and 1,000 kg. Depending on sex, they differ greatly in size; males can grow to almost double the weight of females, and can reach up to 1.8 m at the shoulder. The coat is reddish-brown in colour and is usually darker in males. Males have horns that are thicker at the ends, longer, and more divergent than those of females. Their twisted and magnificent horns are a veritable work of art and one of the most beautiful trophies in the world.

Habitat: Derby eland live in the broad-leafed savannah, woodlands and glades of central and western Africa. They also live in forests as well as on the fringes of deserts. They inhabit places near hilly or rocky landscapes and those with water sources nearby. They are not territorial and have large home ranges.

Breeding: Mating occurs throughout the year, but peaks in the wet season. After a gestation period of nine months one calf is usually born at night. The calf will remain with its mother for around four to six months, after which the young eland might join a group of other juveniles. Females reach sexual maturity at about two years, and males at four to five years of age.

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