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Cephalophus adersi

Cladus: Eukaryota
Supergroup: Opisthokonta
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Classis: Mammalia
Subclassis: Theria
Infraclassis: Placentalia
Superordo: Cetartiodactyla
Ordo: Artiodactyla
Subordo: Ruminantia
Familia: Bovidae
Subfamilia: Cephalophinae
Genus: Cephalophus
Species: Cephalophus adersi


Cephalophus adersi Thomas, 1918

Vernacular names
English: Aders' duiker


* IUCN link: Cephalophus adersi Thomas, 1918 (Critically Endangered)
* Cephalophus adersi on Mammal Species of the World.
Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference, 2 Volume Set edited by Don E. Wilson, DeeAnn M. Reeder

The Aders' Duiker (Cephalophus adersi) also known as Nunga in Swahili, Kunga marara in Kipokomo, and Harake in Giriama) is a small forest dwelling Duiker found only on Zanzibar and in a small coastal enclave in Kenya. It is also critically endangered. It is believed by some to be a subspecies of the Red, Harvey's, or Peters's Duiker or a subspecies of a combination of the above.

Aders' Duiker stand around 30 centimetres tall at the shoulder. Their weight varies greatly depending on geographical location; those in eastern Zanzibar weigh 12 kilograms, while those in the south weigh only 7.5 kilograms. Aders' Duiker have a reddish-brown coat which is grayer on the neck and lighter down the backside and underneath. There is a small red crest running along the head. Aders' Duiker have small simple horns of 3 to 6 centimetres. The muzzle is pointed, and the nose has a flat front. The ears measure 7-8.3 cm long, and there is a marked cowlick or whorl of hair on the nape of the neck.

Aders' Duiker live in coastal forests and woodlands where they eat flowers, leaves, and fruit which has fallen from the forest canopy. Aders' Duiker are diurnal, eating from dawn until noon, resting until midafternoon when they become active again until nightfall. They live in pairs and keep a small territory. This species can live in quite dry scrub near the sea or among coral outcrops - in Zanzibar they are restricted to tall thicket forest growing on waterless coral rag. In Arabuko Sokoke (Kenya) Aders's Duiker are most often trapped within Cynometra vegetation, especially on "red soil". C. adersi is sympatric with C. harveyi on the mainland and with C. monticola sundevalli on Zanzibar, although nothing is known regarding their ecological separation. They are almost completely diurnal - it is very rare to observe them at night. Feeding occurs from dawn to around 1100 hours, which is followed by a period of rest and rumination. At about 1500 hours Aders's Duiker generally become active, and will continue foraging until nightfall. This species is very shy, alert, and sensitive to sound. As a result, common methods of hunting include the brute-force method of driving the duikers into nets with dogs, or silent ambush at feeding sites. Aders's Duiker feed primarily on fallen flowers, fruits, leaves - often picking up scraps dropped by monkeys and birds foraging in the trees. C. adersi shows a particular dependence on the flowers and berries which grow prolifically from trees common to the area, such as ebony (Diospyros consolataei), kudu berry (Cassine aethiopica), and bush guarri (Euclea schimperi), and bushes such as turkey barry (Canthium spp.) and Polyspheria. In addition to these foods, they will eat sprouts, buds, and other fresh growth found at ground level. This duiker species can apparently manage without drinking, getting all the water they need from the foilege in which they feed on.

There are estimated to be around 1400 Aders' Duiker left in the world. They are threatened by habitat destruction, feral dogs and, particularly, over-hunting. Aders' Duiker are particularly sought due to their soft skin and sweet meat. Not much is known of the Aders' reproductive habits although it is speculated that they breed all year long. The population in Zanzibar had declined from 5000 in 1983 to 640 in 1999, and will probably continue to decrease rapidly. In Kenya the duiker is present at very low densities, though the decline is probably not as severe as the other population. Several conservation plans has been made, though it's unknown if it's effective, and a captive-breeding program has been proposed.


1. ^ Finnie, D. (2008). Cephalophus adersi. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 29 March 2009. Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is of critically endangered.

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