Black Wildebeest Fact Sheet

Common Name:

Black Wildbeest

Scientific Name:

Connochaetes gnou

Wild Status:

Least concern


Grasslands, Open Woodlands


Tanzania and Kenya


Finds protection in herds

Life Span:

20 years


Males- 345lbs, females 270lbs

Cool Facts:

  • Both males and females have horns, but they are sexually dimorphic. Female's horns are shorter and slender.
  • Black wildebeests have scent glands located on their front feet, under the tufts on their chest, and in front of their eyes.
  • Nasal bot flies use the black wildebeests as host throughout all their life stages.
  • The blue wildebeest is the only other known species of wildebeest. They have been observed to hybridize with the black wildebeests, producing fertile offspring, commonly born with  formalities.


Black wildebeests have dark brown to black coats. They do not have any pattering on its body, but will typically have a darker colored face. They have short, cream colored and dark-tipped manes on the back of their neck. They have dark coarse hair under its jaw, rostrum, and belly. Their tails are long with cream-colored  long hair- they resemble horse tails. Both male and female counterparts have broad, upwardly curved horns, female's horns are shorter and narrower and are generally smaller in body size.

Taxonomic Breakdown:

Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Mammalia Order: Artiodactyla Family: Bovidae Subfamily: Alcelaphinae Genus: Connochaetes Species: C. gnou

Conservation & Helping:

Black wildebeests  are listed as a species of least concern on the IUCN Red List. They were nearly extinct at the end of the 19th century after almost being hunted to extinction. Efforts with remaining game reserve and zoo populations have helped bring back a stable population. Unfortunately, they are vulnerable to hybridization with the closely related blue wildebeest.

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