The Wild Water Buffalo also called as the Asiatic Buffalo is a large bovine native to the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia. It has been listed as Endangered in the IUCN Red List since 1986, as the remaining population totals less than 4,000. Kaziranga National Park boasts of having the highest population of Asiatic Water Buffalo anywhere in the World!
Wild water buffalo are larger and heavier than domestic buffalo, and weigh from 700 to 1,200 kg. Both sexes carry horns that are heavy at the base and widely spreading along the outer edges, exceeding in size the horns of any other living bovid. Their skin color is ash gray to black.
The Kaziranga National Park harbors a crucial breeding population of the Asiatic Water Buffalo. Grasslands, reed brakes combined with swamps and water-bodies provide an ideal habitat for these animals. Sporting magnificent horns, perhaps the largest among the bovines in the World, the Water Buffalo species at the Kaziranga National Park are formidable opponents and can weigh over 1000 kilograms. Yet Tigers at the Kaziranga National Park have been known to prey on them. Like Elephants and Rhinoceros of Kaziranga, the water buffalo species can be seen grazing in and around Kaziranga’s water bodies in the morning and afternoon. Though they feed predominantly on grass, they have been observed eating water hyacinth as well that grows in abundance at the Kaziranga National Park. They are seldom found far from a reliable water source and often immerse themselves neck deep in water for extended periods. Like Kaziranga’s other animals, the Water Buffalo species seek higher grounds during the monsoon.
Wild water buffalo occur in India, Nepal, Bhutan, Thailand, and Cambodia, with an unconfirmed population in Myanmar. In India, they are largely restricted to in and around Kaziranga National Park, Manas National Park, Dibru-Saikhowa National Park, Laokhowa Wildlife Sanctuary and Bura Chapori Wildlife Sanctuary and in a few scattered pockets in Assam.
Wild water buffalo are both diurnal and nocturnal. Adult females and their young form stable clans of as many as 30 individuals. Clans are led by old cows, even when bulls accompany the group. Several clans form a herd of 30 to 500 animals that gather at resting areas. Adult males form bachelor groups of up to 10 individuals, with older males often being solitary, and spend the dry season apart from the female clans.
So why wait?! Plan your visit to spot the Asiatic Water Buffalo Fauna species at the Kaziranga National Park, the State of Assam, Incredible India!
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