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June 18, 2018  |  Login

Wild Water Buffalo
Bubalus arnee

What Are They Like?

Wild water buffalo have the broadest horn span of any bovine. Large and crescent-shaped, these horns can measure more than 6.5 feet (2 meters) wide. Wild water buffalo are quite massive and can weigh up to 2,600 lbs (1200 kg). Adult buffalo measure 7.9-9.8 feet (2.4-3 meters) in length and are 5-6.2 feet (1.5-1.9 meters) tall at the shoulder. They have sparse, coarse hair that is black or grey. Adults may have white chevron markings around the neck, white tail tips and fine white markings around the eyes. Young wild water buffalo will often have a lighter coloration that will get darker with age.

Where Do They Live?

Small populations of wild water buffalo can be found in Bhutan, Cambodia, India, Myanmar, Nepal and Thailand. Their preferred habitats are grasslands and forest areas that are near sources of water.

Did You Know?
Wild water buffalo can be sexed by differences in their horn structure.

How Are Babies Made?

Mating is typically initiated by the male wild water buffalo. Once impregnated, females have a long gestation period that lasts 300 to 340 days. Mothers will usually give birth to a single calf, and nurse them for six to nine months.

What Do They Eat?

Wild water buffalo are herbivores and graze on wheat and grasses.

Did You Know?
Wild water buffalo have spread out hooves, which keep them from sinking in the mud.

What Do They Do?

Wild water buffalo graze in the mornings and evenings. They usually can be found beating the mid-day heat by lying in the shade or wallowing in muddy pools. They likes to submerge themselves all the way up to their nostrils. This not only helps them cool off, it also helps the get rid of skin parasites and offers relief from biting insects.

How Concerned Should We Be?

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which keeps a "Red List" of species in danger worldwide, lists the Wild Water Buffalo as "endangered." The biggest threat facing wild water buffalo is interbreeding with domestic buffalo, including those that have gone wild. The wild water buffalo is also susceptible to diseases and illnesses transmitted by domestic livestock. Certain populations of wild water buffalo face dangers from illegal hunting, and habitat loss due to agricultural expansion.

What's Being Done?

Wild water buffalo are legally protected in Bhutan, India, Nepal and Thailand, and are listed in CITES under Appendix III (Nepal). Most populations of wild water buffalo currently live in areas that are protected. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Cambodian Department of Forestry established the Srepok Wilderness Area Project, which is designed to ensure the conservation of Cambodia's forest habitat near the Srepok river.


Wild Water Buffalo

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