Peter’s duiker (Cephalophus callipygus)

Peter's duiker
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Peter’s duiker fact file

Peter’s duiker description

GenusCephalophus (1)

Peter’s duiker belongs to a group of shy, secretive African mammals that are most often glimpsed as they dive for cover in thick vegetation (4). It is a fairly large duiker, with a coat that varies between pale tawny, rich russet and dark brown (2), and a broad, dark band runs from between the shoulders, along the spine, and expands over the rear flanks (3). Whatever the coat colour, a tuft of russet-coloured hair sits upon the forehead between the short, pointed horns (2) (3). The forehead of Peter’s duiker is one of the most heavily reinforced of any duiker species, with the dense bone measuring up to 13 millimetres thick in some males (2).

Head-body length: 80 – 115 cm (2)
17 – 24 kg (3)

Peter’s duiker biology

Peter’s duikers are active only during the day (2), and like all duikers, have a secretive life (4), favouring dense undergrowth where they can hide from potential predators (5). Their diet is composed primarily of fruits, which are often picked from the forest floor (3), with the remainder consisting of leaves (2), and small amounts of flowers and fungi (3).

Duikers give birth to only a single calf at a time, which then hides in vegetation for the first few weeks of life (4). Peter’s duikers are believed to be territorial animals (2), and the large scent glands beneath each eye may be used to mark their territory, by rubbing them on trees (4).


Peter’s duiker range

Occurs in central Africa, with a range extending from Cameroon and Gabon eastwards to Kenya and Tanzania (1).


Peter’s duiker habitat

Peter’s duiker occurs in moist equatorial forest in both lowland and montane areas. They prefer areas with dense undergrowth in which they can shelter (2).


Peter’s duiker status

Classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List (1).

IUCN Red List species status – Least Concern


Peter’s duiker threats

Classified as Near Threatened by the IUCN, Peter’s duiker is vulnerable to the impact of hunting (1). It is the third most frequent species hunted for bushmeat in Gabon, where bushmeat is an important source of protein for both urban and rural people (5), and in the Central African Republic, Peter’s duiker accounted for 29 percent of all animals captured in snares (6). Even with optimistic estimates of population density, snare hunting at this level is unsustainable for Peter’s duiker (6). In addition, the loss and degradation of critical forest habitat, through human settlements and infrastructure development, threatens the future of Peter’s duiker (1).


Peter’s duiker conservation

Peter’s duiker occurs in several protected areas, such as the Lope and Sette-Cama Reserves in Gabon (5). However, in addition to effectively protected areas, further measures may be required to prevent populations from declining under the pressure of bushmeat hunting. It may be necessary to manage wildlife populations outside parks, to ensure both the continued availability of bushmeat for human consumption, and the continued survival of the species (5).

View information on this species at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre.

Find out more

For further information on the Peters’ duiker and see:

  • Wilson, V.J. (2005) Duikers of Africa: Masters of the African Forest Floor. Zimbi Books, Pretoria, South Africa.



Authenticated (19/03/08) by Karl R. Kranz, Vice President for Animal Programs and Chief Operating Officer,Maryland Zoo in Baltimore.



The meat derived from wildlife of African forests, or ‘bush’.
An animal, a pair of animals or a colony that occupies and defends an area.


  1. IUCN Red List (June, 2009)
  2. Kingdon, J. (1997) The Kingdon Field Guide to African Mammals. Academic Press Ltd, London.
  3. Wilson, V.J. (2005) Duikers of Africa: Masters of the African Forest Floor. Zimbi Books, Pretoria, South Africa.
  4. Ralls, K. and Kranz, K. (2006) Duikers. In: Macdonald, D.W. (Ed) The Encyclopedia of Mammals. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  5. East, R. (1988) Antelopes: Global Survey and Regional Action Plans. Part 3: West and Central Africa. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.
  6. Noss, A.J. (1998) The Impacts of Cable Snare Hunting on Wildlife Populations in the Forests of the Central African Republic. Conservation Biology, 12(2): 390 - 398.

Image credit

Peter's duiker  
Peter's duiker

© BBC Natural History Unit

BBC Natural History Unit
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