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Sun Apr 4, 2021, 01:02 AM

Rare Antelope Is Photographed Alive in the Wild for the First Time

A recent camera trap survey in a Togolese nature reserve has turned up the first-ever images of a live Walter’s duiker, a petite African antelope species, in the wild. The traps also caught aardvarks and a mongoose species, neither of which had previously been reported in Togo. The team’s findings were published this week in the African Journal of Ecology.

“This graceful antelope has, for the last 200 years, displayed a great talent for avoiding scientists, but proven tragically less adept at avoiding nets, snares and hunting dogs,” said co-author David Macdonald, a zoologist at the University of Oxford and director of the university’s WildCRU conservation unit.

The small antelope joins several other antelope species native to the park. First recognized as a new species in 2010 after comparing bushmeat specimens to other known duiker specimens, the recently imaged duiker is the first live one catalogued by scientists. It is so few and far between that it doesn’t even have an endangered listing; the International Union for Conservation of Nature notes its status as “data-deficient.” Obviously, the WildCRU team is seeking to change that.


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