Kirk's dik-dik

Common Name: Kirk’s dik-dik

Scientific Name: Madoqua kirkii

Dik-diks are named after the alarm call they make when threatened or startled.

Kirk’s Dik-dik are active during the day and night, alternating periods of feeding and resting. They rest in shade during the hottest part of the day.

Dik-diks have a specialized nose which helps them keep cool in hot, arid habitats.

Kirk’s Dik-diks can live without drinking water, although they will drink if they have the opportunity.

Fast Facts

  • Status

    Least Concern

  • Size

    Head-body: 63cm; shoulder height: 40cm

  • Weight


  • Gestation

    166-174 days

  • Young


  • Life span

    Up to 17 years

In the wild

Kirk’s dik-diks are browsers. They eat the leaves, flowers, shoots and fruit of shrubs, bushes and trees. They rarely eat grass.

Kirk’s dik-dik are found in two separate regions; in East Africa, from southern Somalia to central Tanzania, and in Southern Africa in northern Namibia and south-western Angola.

Kirk’s dik-dik live in a wide variety of mainly arid habitats, from dense thorn scrub to thickets and open woodland. They are also found in wetter areas in Kenya and Tanzania.

Kirk’s dik-diks are monogamous, meaning that they mate for life. The pairs usually stay together until one of them dies. Kirks dik-dik young can stand within 15 minutes of being born, and will suckle within two hours. Mothers hide their young in thick vegetation for their first few weeks of life, and return to feed them. At 10-14 days old the young start to browse.

A wide range of predators will take  Kirks dik-diks. These include leopards, cheetahs, jackals, African wild dogs, lions, martial eagles and tawny eagles.

There are no major threats to Kirk’s dik-dik at present, but in some areas they have been affected by habitat loss and a high level of hunting. However, because they are able to live in scrubland and areas that have been heavily grazed, they are able to cope with changes to their habitat caused by a growing human population.

Meet Marwell's Kirk's dik-dik

Meet Marwell's Kirk's dik-dik

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