The Leibniz Institute for the Analysis of Biodiversity Change

is a research museum of the Leibniz Association

Puku antelope on the front cover - reasons are worrying results of a study


The puku antelope (Kobus vardonii) has made it onto the front page twice. The background for this is the worrying study by Vera Rduch and Thalia Jentke with current data on the bovids, the antelopes and the African buffalo, from Kasanka National Park in Zambia. The results of the study, published in Early View in January 2021, show an 84% decline in the population of pukus compared to an earlier study in 2009-2010. Changes in population structure and spatial distribution indicate that poaching, in combination with other unfavourable factors like less rainfalls, has negatively affected the pukus. The scientific article can now be read in the current issue of the African Journal of Ecology. The cover photo shows a subadult male taken by Vera Rduch in November 2019 during the field trip for data collection.

A further article was written for the Koenigiana to bring the study to a wide audience interested in the natural sciences. It also gives a small insight "behind the scenes" of the research trip for data recording. The cover of the magazine, which is published by the Alexander Koenig Society, features a male puku with a wire snare around its head. This picture, also photographed by Vera Rduch, was taken back in 2010 within the boundaries of Kasanka National Park and shows the constant threat to wildlife in Zambia from poaching.


Sources: Article „Alarming decline of bovids in Kasanka National Park, Zambia: A case study of the puku antelope (Kobus vardonii)“, Afr. J. Ecol. 2021; 59 (2): 387– 398., Link to the pdf: The Cover can be accessed via, Link to thepdf: 

Article „Eine Forschungsreise nach Sambia: Alarmierende Neuigkeiten von den Puku-Antilopen (Kobus vardonii) im Kasanka-Nationalpark“, Koenigiana 15 (1): 3-20


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