About the Author

Barry Bath

Guest contributor

Barry grew up in Johannesburg and knew from a young age that he had a true love for the African bush yet it was only after spending several years in the corporate world in Europe, followed by a two year sabbatical of traveling ...

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on Understanding the Intricacies of the Impala Rutting Season

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Life in the bush is so dynamic that time can almost stand still for a brief period. Which always fives opportunity to someone else. Thanks for the continuing education Barry.

That should read allows opportunity.

We are staying on a nature reserve and we hear the impala’s rutting, fighting with the other ram’s for mating rights. Right through the day and night they are making those noises and fighting with each other. Soon there will be many little lambs running around the reserve.

This is definitely a symphony I’d love to hear! Brutality here is more or less equal when it happens, but the gradual signals they convey and display to each other often avoids the worse, unless one of the two is very stubborn even if weaker or some accidents happens (broken horns and so on). I’ve always loved impala and I’m grateful to the researchers that follow those beautiful and elegant animals. Thank you, the pictures are superb

Thanks for this information regarding impala rutting season and its relationship to predation by leopards and the correlation with African Wild Dog denning season. So cool how things that seem random on a case by case basis are connected when looked at with a broader lens!

Hi Barry, thanks for this interesting article on impalas and their rutting season.
I love Impalas. They are so beautiful. However, as they are so numerous, one does overlook them often, indeed.
I am looking forward to seeing them quite soon, September, only three and a half months away.
And guess who should be my guide and tracker? You, please and Tshepo. Very important.

Thanks Barry for enlightening us to the various facts of Impala rutting season. That and lambing season are probably the most intriguing and exciting moments to spend time with these antelopes. I’m not sure how old the males are when they begin their “practice” ruts, but it seems by the time they’re fully mature, they either have a harem or are fighting to take over one, and if not successful, continue living with the bachelor herd. It is exciting to hear to the clash of horns
during a drive , only to round the corner and find two powerful, mature rams butting heads.

Thank you, Barry, for informing us about the etymology of the word rut. Since humans don’t have a season for this, it gives a whole new meaning to being “stuck in a rut”. Also, I had to look up the word midden. I had no idea of what you were expressing until I’d looked it up. So, it’s been a very informative lesson. On top of those things, I was thinking that the survival rates of females during this period might be what makes the numbers of impala so great. But, overall, I keep to the thought that the numbers of impala are greatest to ensure that predators will always have enough to eat, even when it might be tough to find the animals – like in the dry seasons.

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10 April, 2798
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