The mountain bongo is a critically endangered subspecies of the bongo, one of the largest forest antelopes, with a reddish-brown coat, with black, white and yellow-white markings. Both males and females have long, slightly spiralled horns. Bongos are rarely seen in large herds. Bulls are mostly solitary, while females with young form small herds of up to 10. They are mostly nocturnal.
Up to 20 years
Critically endangered, with an estimated 100 individuals across four isolated locations in Kenya.
Habitat & Range
The mountain bongo is found in the montane forests of the Kenyan highlands, including the Aberdares and Mount Kenya.
Mountain bongos are mostly grazers, feeding on leaves, vines, bark and occasionally grass. They need salt in their diet and regularly visit mineral licks.
The decline of the mountain bongo has been caused by habitat loss and illegal hunting with dogs. Disease (such as rinderpest) caught from grazing cattle is also thought to have been a significant factor in their historic decline.
Habitat protection and monitoring of the small remaining populations is critical for their survival, while captive breeding and reintroduction to Mount Kenya could also play a role (there are more mountain bongo in captivity than in the wild). Tusk supports the Bongo Surveillance Programme, which studies and protects their largest population of about 50 in the Aberdares.