Blue wildebeest

Blue wildebeest Connochaetes taurinus

ClassMammalia
OrderArtiodactyla
FamilyBovidae
Size1.3–1.55m
Weightup to 290kg
Gestation8 ½ months
Birth1
Life-span18–20 years
Diet
herbivorous

Habitat
savannah and open plains

Range
southern and East Africa


Gnus live in groups of females with their young and with territorial males. The great seasonal migrations to new grazing lands see tens of thousands of gnus come together.
 
Just a few minutes after birth, young gnus stand on their feet to follow their mother, with whom they remain until they wean at about 9 months of age. Horns appear at the age of 3 months, pointing upwards to start with but starting to bend outwards at 8 months. The females give birth around the same time, which helps to limit the numbers lost to predators, but young gnus remain very easy prey.
 
This species is not considered endangered but does suffer periodic declines in number, especially during droughts. Hunting, the growth of farming and cattle-transmitted illnesses could threaten its survival in the long run.




Status in the wild (Source: IUCN)

  • Not evaluated
    NE
  • Data deficient
    DD
  • Least concern
    LC
  • Near threatened
    NT
  • Vulnerable
    VU
  • Endangered
    EN
  •  Critically endangered
    CR
  • Extinct in the wild
    EW
  • Extinct
    EX

In the zoo