Fauna

Being a nature reserve Westford Bridge enjoys a variety of animals, many of which may be found in one’s garden on occasion, such as the Bushbuck, Blue Duiker, Porcupine, Mongoose, Monkey, Baboon and Genet. The more common varieties are listed below.

To view a list of mammals that are likely to occur in the area please click: Mammal List

Bushbuck Podiceps cristatus infuscatus
 
The Bushbuck (Tragelaphus scriptus) is an antelope that is found in forest and woodland throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. Bushbuck stand about 90 centimeters at the shoulder and weigh from 30 to 80 kilograms (depending on sex). Bushbuck have a light brown coat, with up to seven white stripes and white splotches on the sides. The muzzle is also white. Horns are found only on the males and they can reach over half a meter with only one twist. Bushbuck are found in all types of bush, from open forest to dense woodland. They mainly browse but supplement their diet with any other plant matter they can reach. Bushbuck are active 24 hours a day but tend to be nocturnal near human habitations. Bushbuck tend to be solitary, though some live in pairs. All bushbuck are generally territorial.
Vervet Monkey Chlorocebus pygerythrus
 
The Vervet Monkey ranges throughout much of Southern and East Africa, being found from Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan and south to South Africa, inhabiting savanna lands and mountains up to 4000 m. Vervet monkeys live in multi-female, multi-male groups varying in size from 5 individuals to 76. The average group size is 24 monkeys. The sex ratio in a vervet monkey group is one female to one male). Male vervet monkeys move to neighboring groups when they reach sexual maturity around the age of 5. When the males do leave their kin group, they move directly to a new one in the surrounding area, in which, the males receive much aggression from the females of that group. Female vervet monkeys remain in their natal group.  (Source – Wikipedia)
Chacma Baboon Papio ursinus
 
The Chacma Baboon, also known as the Cape Baboon, is, like all other baboons, from the Old World monkey family. With a body length of up to 115 cm and a weight from 15 to 31 kg, it is among the largest and heaviest baboon species. The Chacma is generally dark brown to gray in color, with a patch of rough hair on the nape of its neck. Chacmas usually live in social groups composed of multiple adult males, adult females, and their offspring. Occasionally, however, very small groups form that include only a single adult male and several adult females. Chacma troops are characterized by a dominance hierarchy. Female ranking within the troop is inherited through the mother and remains quite fixed, while male ranking is tenuous and changes often.  (Source – Wikipedia)
Blue Duiker Cephalophus monticola
 
35cm tall, 4Kg mass. The Blue Duiker is the smallest anteloipe occurring in Southern Africa. The upper parts vary from slate grey to dark brown with a grey-blue sheen and the underparts are white or off-white. A constantly wagging tail is characteristic. The tail is quite long, bushy and black, bordered with white, i.e. Short horns are present in both sexes but are often hidden by the crest of hair on the top of the head.
In South Africa it occurs in a narrow belt along the coast from George to Natal.  They are confined to forests and dense stands of bush. They utilize open glades when feeding. Water is an essential habitat requirement.
They usually occur singly, or in pairs when courting and are extremely timid and is rarely seen. A browser, it also eats fruits and berries.  (Source – Chris & Tilde Stuart, Field Guide to Mammals of Southern Africa)
Caracal Caracal caracal
 
The caracal is a fiercely territorial medium-sized cat ranging over the Middle East and Africa. The word caracal comes from the Turkish word “karakulak”, meaning “black ear”. Males typically weigh 13 -18 kgs, while females weigh about 11 kg The caracal resembles a Eurasian Lynx, and for a long time it was considered a close relative of the lynxes. It has a tail nearly a third of its body length, and both sexes look the same. The caracal is 65-90 cm in length, plus 30 cm tail. Compared to lynxes, it has longer legs and a slimmer appearance. The colour of the fur varies between wine-red, grey, or sand-coloured. Melanistic (black) caracals also occur. Young caracals bear reddish spots on the underside; adults do not have markings except for black spots above the eyes. Underparts of chin and body are white, and a narrow black line runs from the corner of the eye to the nose. (Source-Wikipedia)
Porcupine Hystrix Africaeaustralis
 
Porcupines are rodents with a coat of sharp spines, or quills, that defend them from predators. Porcupines are the third largest of the rodents, behind the capybara and the beaver. Most porcupines are about 63–91 cm long, with a 20–25 cm long tail. Weighing between 5.4–16 kg, they are rounded, large and slow. Porcupines come in various shades of brown, grey, and the unusual white. Porcupines live in forests, deserts, rocky outcrops, hillsides and grasslands. Some New World porcupines live in trees, but Old World porcupines stay on the ground. Porcupines can be found on rocky areas up to 3,700 m (12,000 ft) high. Porcupines are nocturnal.  (Source – Wikipedia)
Bushpig Cephalophus monticola
 
The Bushpig is a member of the pig family that lives in forest thickets, riverine vegetation and reedbeds close to water in Africa and Sudan. They are mainly nocturnal and are seldom seen during the day. Bushpigs range in size from 60 to 85cm at the shoulder and 146 to 182 in weight. They resemble the domestic pig and are identified by the blunt, muscular snout, small eyes, and pointed, tufted ears and buckled toes. Their colour varies from reddish-brown to dark brown and becomes darker with age. Both sexes have a lighter coloured mane which bristles when the animal becomes agitated. The upper parts of the face and ears are also lighter in colour. Sharp tusks are not very long and are not conspicuous. Unlike the Warthog, the Bushpig runs with its tail down. Males are normally larger than females. Bushpigs can be very aggressive, especially when they have young.(Source – Wikipedia)
Leopard Panthera pardus
 

NB: While you are not likely to spot a leopard on the estate, they do inhabit the broader area.

Leopards have relatively short legs and a long body with a large skull. It is similar in appearance to the jaguar, although it is of smaller and slighter build. Its fur is marked with similar rosettes to those of the jaguar, though the leopard’s rosettes are smaller and more densely packed, and the leopard’s rosettes do not usually have central spots as the jaguar’s do. The species’ success in the wild owes in part to its opportunistic hunting behavior, its adaptability to habitats, its ability to run at speeds approaching 58 kilometers per hour, its unequaled ability to climb trees even when carrying a heavy carcass, and its notorious ability for stealth. The leopard consumes virtually any animal it can hunt down and catch. Its preferred habitat ranges from rain-forest to desert terrains.  (Source – Wikipedia)