Permanent water is an essential
All four species are usually found
within 1km of water and seldom move more than 2km from
|Vleis, rivers, streams,perennial pans all satisfy water
||Have unusually high water requirements. Will take up
residence around artificial water supplies.
||Water-loving antelope. Prefer shallow inundated areas.
Seldom drink in cool, dry season.
||Associated with water throughout range but notrestricted
to river fringes.
Key habitat features
|Require tall grass or reedbeds for cover. Grass quality
less important. Thrive on poor grassland provided cover
and water available.
||Occupy a wide range of riparian habitats but need high
||Specialised in habitat requirements. Prefer shallow
inundated flood plains fringing swamps and rivers. Will
feed in water up to 0.5m deep.
||Utilise narrow stretches of grassland lying between
rivers or swamps and woodland on high ground.
Vleis with a central wet drainage area,
or grasslands adjacent to streams, rivers or other water
supplies. Avoid woodland and scrub but tolerate scattered
trees. Avoid bush encroached areas. Clear burning causes
them to vacate habitat. Not attracted to fresh sprouting
grasses on burns as much as other grazers.
Catholic in range of habitats. Open
areas with reedbeds or areas with a woodland cover.
May go into rocky hills. Tend not to use overgrazed
areas. Not always successful in occupying prime habitats
because of competition with other species.
Ecotone of high standing beds of papyrus,
phragmites and high standing aquatic grasses and fringes
of dry land.
Grassy areas in immediate vicinity of
water. Unlike lechwe which are associated with wide
open grassy plains, puku also frequent narrow poorly
drained depressions in woodland.
All four species are predominantly
Although bulk of diet is perennial
grass, also eat small amounts of herbaceous plant species
|Grass selection varies throughout year according
to availability of species
Include a small amount of browse in
Not known to browse
Child and von Richter (1969) give a schematic diagram of
the spatial niches occupied by waterbuck, lechwe and puku
along the catena from the Chobe River to the fringing woodlands.
Based on the observations of Smithers (1983), Martin (2004)
added reedbuck to the diagram working on the assumption that
reedbuck could occur anywhere along the catena where the necessary
cover conditions are satisfied (Figure