Because they do not form large populations and their food is of limited supply, gerenuk exhibit strange social interactions as males are solitary and territorial and females are social and form small groups.
Because they do not form large populations and their food is of limited supply, gerenuk exhibit strange social interactions.
Males are solitary and very territorial. They only associate with females during the mating season or when they are young. Dominant males establish territories by marking trees and shrubs with their preorbital gland. Other dominant males will enter another’s territory without any aggression or defensiveness being displayed, but a young male without its own territory will be run off if he enters a dominant male’s territory. The size of a males territory can range from 300 to 850 acres and can support several individuals.
Females form small bands of up to about 10 individuals, usually related adults with young. These groups of females and young roam freely throughout male territories.
Young males that have just been weaned often form bachelor herds that roam nomadically until they become mature enough to establish their own territories and breed.
• Image | ©️ cuatrok77, Some Rights Reserved, (CC BY-SA 2.0)
• Sources | (Macdonald, 2001; Payne, 2003)