Our Neighborhood's Biodiversity Map

* Please click the continent to see the endangered species of our neighborhood.
Indian Water Buffalo Bubalus arnee by Dr Raju Kasambe IMG 0347 (11) (cropped) * To See the original image, please click the image
Shared by : Rahul Acharya, Sujan Adhikari (Nepal)
Region : Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia
Status : Endangered
Often nocturnal and occasionally diurnal, the Wild Asian Buffalo is a massive, powerful animal with the widest horn span of any Bovid(around 2m) and weighs around 800-1200 Kg. They are always associated with wet grassland, swamps and densely vegetated river valleys. These are mainly a grazer eating grasses and leafy aquatic vegetation. They feed in the morning and evening and during midday heat they retreat themselves to shade or wallows in water or muddy pools. Matriarch dominance is seen in Arna. Often they form a herd of female with young and led by dominant Matriarch. The herd is accompanied by single adult bull. Meanwhile other male adults form a Bachelor herd of 10. They mix with female during mating time. Originally they range from Eastern Nepal and India, east to Vietnam and south to Sri Lanka and perhaps Malaysia. Global population is 4000 and trend is decreasing. Defying the global trend, Arna population is on rise in Nepal. According to recent count, population is estimated to be 327(including 52 adults and 98 females) in Nepal. The wild buffaloes are much darker and have white hairs in Knees and are relatively stronger and cleverer than average domestic buffaloes.

Wild water buffalo (Bubalus arnee) are large, heavy wild relative of domestic buffalo. In Nepali they are called “arna”. They weigh somewhere around 700-1200 kg and head to body length ranges around 240-300 cm. the skin color is black and both sexes have horns, which are heavy at base and spreads widely. Both male and female water buffalo wear the species’ signature backward-curving horns, although the females’ horns are significantly smaller. They are listed under endangered species by IUCN since 1986. In Nepal they are only found in Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve where their small population is seriously threatened. They spend much of their time submerged in muddy water. Their hoofs have adapted to the swamps so they don’t get trapped in the swamps. Although they live water for longer time, they prefer grass from ground. Since domestic buffalo and wild buffalo are different species, most important threats to wild water buffalo are interbreeding with ferel and domestic buffalo. This species in Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve has faced human disturbance, so to minimize that Government of Nepal in 2004 has declared the outside area of 173.5 square km as the buffer zone. References:
The major threats include interbreeding with feral and domestic animals, inbreeding, hunting, habitat loss degradation including invasive plant species, spread of the diseases by the domestic buffaloes. Natural disasters (for example, flooding causes widespread habitat degradation and sweeps away individual, human-wildlife conflict, food competition with domestic livestock are also threats to the wild water buffaloes.
Arna is included in CITES under Appendix III (Nepal). It is legally protected in Nepal, Bhutan, Nepal and Thailand. Koshi Tapu Reserve is the only area in Nepal where Arna are found. The reserve spreads across the area of 175 square Kilometers and was established in 1975 to conserve wild buffaloes. Some plans have been made to transfer few Arnas into Chitwan National Park or Parsa Wild Life reserve as well besides protecting them in Koshi Tapu. These are the things that can be done to protect wild water buffaloes in Nepal.
i) Create additional secure populations in Chitwan National Park and the Babai valley of Bardia National Park.
ii) Remove domestic livestock from Koshi Tappu to reduce the risk of disease transmission and to reduce food competition.
iii) Improve habitat through implementing an effective management plan for invasive plant species such as Mikania micrantha.
iv) Improve anti-poaching and patrol-based security systems to eliminate or minimize poaching.
v) Set up standardized system for collecting and analyzing human-wildlife conflict data, and develop a sustainable mitigation plan involving all stakeholders and donor communities.

Sources :
http://ijcs.uaic.ro/pub/IJCS-11-23-Aryal.pdf http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/3129/0
www.rufford.org/projects/tej_kumar_shrestha en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wild_water_buffalo


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