- Height 1 to 1.50m
- Weight 98-125 kg (male) and 55-68 kg (female)
- Lifespan 18.5 years
- Diet Leaves, flowers and fruit
- Habitat Savannah
- Reproduction 1 cub
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Nyalas have a dorsal ridge of long hair (from the nape of the neck to the base of the tail) and have vertical white stripes, the pattern of which varies. Males have horns, which can be up to 80cm long with spirals on top, which curve at the first turn. Females and juveniles are usually rusty red in colour, and adult males turn grey.
Nyalas are gregarious animals and live in groups of 2 to 30 individuals.
These animals concentrate their activity at dusk and at night. They spend much of their time hiding in the bush, especially at warmer times of the day. They are vulnerable to various predators, and when they feel threatened, the female members of the group give an alert (a deep barking vocalization) so that the remaining Nyalas can flee. They sometimes follow the baboons, taking advantage of the fruits and leaves they drop from the trees.
In the past, the Nyala disappeared in some areas due to the loss of habitat for use in agriculture. Currently, its population is stable and there are an estimated 20000-27500 mature animals. About 80% of the total population lives in protected areas and there are no major threats to the populations of this species. Recently, in some areas, their habitat has been improved through human activities, such as the abandonment of some fields and the consequent invasion of many grasses that serve as food for the Nyalas. In Swaziland, more than 1000 animals of this species have been introduced.