The Impala

Nick BOWKER HUNTING SOUTH AFRICA

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The Impala


The Impala or Southern impala is found in woodlands and sometimes on the interface between woodlands and savannah; it inhabits places close to water ans is a trophy most hunters take on their first African hunt. The smooth skin and two-tone red coloration make for a unique trophy.

Taxonomy notes


Usually two subspecies are distinguished; namely the common impala Aepyceros melampus melampus) and the black-faced impala (Aepyceros melampus petersi).
Common names: Common Impala, Impala (English), Rooibok (Afrikaans), Mhara (Shona), Phala (Sotho,Tswana, Venda), Impala (Zulu)

1604162448586.png

Fig 1: The Impala

Description:


The impala is a medium-sized, slender antelope. The horns, strongly ridged and divergent, are circular in section and hollow at the base. The glossy coat of the impala shows two-tone colouration – the reddish brown back and the tan flanks which are in sharp contrast to the white underbelly. Facial features include white rings around the eyes and a light chin and snout Of the subspecies, the black-faced impala is significantly larger and darker than the common impala.

1604162672247.png

Fig 2: Horn Growth and size charts.

Distribution:


The range extends from central and southern Kenya and north-eastern Uganda; in the east to northern KwaZulu-Natal in the south, and westward up to Namibia and southern Angola. This lovely antelope were also introduced to other areas on game ranges and farms.

1604162832988.png

Fig 3: Distribution in South Africa.



Interesting facts:


Impala antelope have unique black glands on their ankles known as metatarsal glands. When threatened by predators, they scatter in all directions and they kick back their hind legs and release a scent which makes it easier to find each other again once the threat is over. This behaviour has an added advantage of confusing the predator

1604162883685.png

Fig 4: Scenting glands.



Habitats and Ecology:


The impala is active throughout the day and night, alternating resting and grazing, and drinking at least once a day. The impala inhabits woodlands or interface between woodlands and savannah, due to its preference for shade, it needs to be close to water, and also are seasonal feeders. Impala tend to keep away from areas with tall grasses as predators could be concealed there.


Natural enemies are lion, leopard, cheetah, wild dogs and the locational hyaena.

1604163022510.png

Fig 5: Natural Predators.



Behaviour


Like most wild animals, the impala’s behaviours are mostly centered around feeding and reproduction. The mother–calf bond is weak, and breaks soon after weaning; juveniles leave the herds of their mothers to join other herds. Allogrooming is an important means of social interaction in bachelor and female herds; in fact, the impala appears to be the only ungulate to display self-grooming as well as allogrooming.

1604163122065.png

Fig 6: Impala mom and lamb



Types of herds


Although impala tend to be fairly social for most of the year, they break off into subgroups during the rut, or mating season. Impala typically form three types of herds: all-female herds (often led by a territorial male who may be replaced multiple times), bachelor herds, and mixed-sex family herds led by territorial males and temporary nursing herds with 1 or 2 females.

1604163359091.png

Fig 7: Different types of herds.



Hunting Impala


Hunting is done by setting up ambushes and walk and stalk techniques.It can jump as high as 3 meters, even jumping over other individuals, and covering a distance of 10 meters.

1604163673870.png

Fig 8: Shot placement.



The Impala Trophy


Your impala ram trophy should have an average shoulder height of around 46 inches, weigh about 130 pounds, and have a horn length of approximately 22 inches.

The minimum Safari Club International score for an impala is 52. The trophy is measured by adding the length of each horn and the circumference of the bases.

1604163727843.png

Fig 9: The Skull.



Hunting the Black Impala


Black impala is a color variant of the southern impala. A great trophy to add while on hunting safari and a must for any collector interested in collecting both of the impala color variations.

The black impala is not a subspecies, but a color phase of the southern impala. Black impala was developed by selective breeding; the color of the skin is all black.

1604163799808.png

Fig 10: The Black Impala.


References:

Smithers, RHN, 1983. The Mammals of the Southern African Subregion, 1st edn. University of Pretoria, CTP

Book Printers, Cape Town.


New World Encyclopedia, https://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Impala#Taxonomy

SafarisAfricana, https://safarisafricana.com/animals/impala/

Brent Huffman, www.ultimateungulate.com, http://216.19.70.191/Artiodactyla/Aepyceros_melampus.html

Wikipedia.com, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impala
 

VertigoBE

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Thank you Nick!
Question for you, is the black impala naturally occuring, or only a freak of selective breeding?
 

Nick BOWKER HUNTING SOUTH AFRICA

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It’s is a result of selective breeding but now widely spread.
 

kdenn

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Nick, thanks for these informative posts. Really excited about hunting with you someday.
 

CAustin

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The Impala


The Impala or Southern impala is found in woodlands and sometimes on the interface between woodlands and savannah; it inhabits places close to water ans is a trophy most hunters take on their first African hunt. The smooth skin and two-tone red coloration make for a unique trophy.

Taxonomy notes


Usually two subspecies are distinguished; namely the common impala Aepyceros melampus melampus) and the black-faced impala (Aepyceros melampus petersi).
Common names: Common Impala, Impala (English), Rooibok (Afrikaans), Mhara (Shona), Phala (Sotho,Tswana, Venda), Impala (Zulu)

View attachment 375413
Fig 1: The Impala

Description:


The impala is a medium-sized, slender antelope. The horns, strongly ridged and divergent, are circular in section and hollow at the base. The glossy coat of the impala shows two-tone colouration – the reddish brown back and the tan flanks which are in sharp contrast to the white underbelly. Facial features include white rings around the eyes and a light chin and snout Of the subspecies, the black-faced impala is significantly larger and darker than the common impala.

View attachment 375414
Fig 2: Horn Growth and size charts.

Distribution:


The range extends from central and southern Kenya and north-eastern Uganda; in the east to northern KwaZulu-Natal in the south, and westward up to Namibia and southern Angola. This lovely antelope were also introduced to other areas on game ranges and farms.

View attachment 375415
Fig 3: Distribution in South Africa.



Interesting facts:


Impala antelope have unique black glands on their ankles known as metatarsal glands. When threatened by predators, they scatter in all directions and they kick back their hind legs and release a scent which makes it easier to find each other again once the threat is over. This behaviour has an added advantage of confusing the predator

View attachment 375416
Fig 4: Scenting glands.



Habitats and Ecology:


The impala is active throughout the day and night, alternating resting and grazing, and drinking at least once a day. The impala inhabits woodlands or interface between woodlands and savannah, due to its preference for shade, it needs to be close to water, and also are seasonal feeders. Impala tend to keep away from areas with tall grasses as predators could be concealed there.


Natural enemies are lion, leopard, cheetah, wild dogs and the locational hyaena.

View attachment 375417
Fig 5: Natural Predators.



Behaviour


Like most wild animals, the impala’s behaviours are mostly centered around feeding and reproduction. The mother–calf bond is weak, and breaks soon after weaning; juveniles leave the herds of their mothers to join other herds. Allogrooming is an important means of social interaction in bachelor and female herds; in fact, the impala appears to be the only ungulate to display self-grooming as well as allogrooming.

View attachment 375418
Fig 6: Impala mom and lamb



Types of herds


Although impala tend to be fairly social for most of the year, they break off into subgroups during the rut, or mating season. Impala typically form three types of herds: all-female herds (often led by a territorial male who may be replaced multiple times), bachelor herds, and mixed-sex family herds led by territorial males and temporary nursing herds with 1 or 2 females.

View attachment 375419
Fig 7: Different types of herds.



Hunting Impala


Hunting is done by setting up ambushes and walk and stalk techniques.It can jump as high as 3 meters, even jumping over other individuals, and covering a distance of 10 meters.

View attachment 375420
Fig 8: Shot placement.



The Impala Trophy


Your impala ram trophy should have an average shoulder height of around 46 inches, weigh about 130 pounds, and have a horn length of approximately 22 inches.

The minimum Safari Club International score for an impala is 52. The trophy is measured by adding the length of each horn and the circumference of the bases.

View attachment 375421
Fig 9: The Skull.



Hunting the Black Impala


Black impala is a color variant of the southern impala. A great trophy to add while on hunting safari and a must for any collector interested in collecting both of the impala color variations.

The black impala is not a subspecies, but a color phase of the southern impala. Black impala was developed by selective breeding; the color of the skin is all black.

View attachment 375422
Fig 10: The Black Impala.


References:

Smithers, RHN, 1983. The Mammals of the Southern African Subregion, 1st edn. University of Pretoria, CTP

Book Printers, Cape Town.


New World Encyclopedia, https://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Impala#Taxonomy

SafarisAfricana, https://safarisafricana.com/animals/impala/

Brent Huffman, www.ultimateungulate.com, http://216.19.70.191/Artiodactyla/Aepyceros_melampus.html

Wikipedia.com, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impala
Would you please consider doing one of this discussions on the Roan!
 

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