Based on Chris and Mathilde Stuart’s book, “Game Animals of the World,” published by African Hunting Gazette, here’s everything hunters need to know about the Royal Antelope
English: Royal Antelope
Latin: Neotragus pygmaeus
French: Antilope royale, Antilope pygmée
Spanish: Antilope pigmeo
Total length: 57 cm (1.9‘)
Tail: 7.5 cm (3”)
Shoulder height: 25 cm (0.8‘)
Weight: 1.4 – 2.8 kg (3 – 6 lb)
Horns (male): 12 – 25 mm (0.47” – 0.98”)
The royal antelope is the smallest of the three dwarf antelope (Neotragus spp.) and smaller than any duiker species in the area. They have cinnamon to russet upper coats with white underparts, and these are separated usually by a more orange-coloured band that extends onto the legs. There is a white throat patch that extends under the chin and the underside of tail is white. Only the male carries the short horns that slope with the face.
Restricted to the Guinean forest zone of West Africa, and occurs in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast and Ghana. It is considered huntable and many are taken in the bush meat trade. The very similar Bates’s pygmy antelope (N. batesi) occurs from Nigeria to eastern DR Congo, and is huntable in Cameroon.
Relatively common, but loss of habitat probably having some impact. Bates’s pygmy antelope numbers in the hundreds of thousands.
Occupies areas of dense and some secondary forests, also utilizing clearings in these habitats.
Royal antelope is little studied, but Bates’s pygmy antelope probably very similar. They live singly, or in pairs, and the male probably defends a territory. Said to be mainly night-active but some daytime activity has been reported, and it may have activity periods throughout the 24-hour period. Home range sizes probably less than 4 ha (10 acres), and perhaps considerably smaller.
Breeding (very little known)
Mating season: Probably throughout the year
Gestation: About 180 days
Number of young: 1
Birth weight: Probably < 350 g (<12oz)
Sexual maturity: Female 8 – 18 months, Male 16 months
(probably similar to Bates’s pygmy antelope)
Predominantly a browser, taking a wide range of plant species and possibly includes some fallen fruits and fungi.
Rifles and Ammunition
Suggested Caliber: Shotgun
Bullet: Coarse bird short.
Sights: Open sights or red dot.
Hunting Conditions: Expect short range in dense vegetation.