Wilder Wasserbüffel Bubalus arnee (Kerr, 1792)


English: Wild Water Buffalo; French: Buffle d’Arnie, Buffle d’eau; Annamese: Moh; Bengali: Mains; Burmese: Kywai; Canarese: kadu kona, kartee; Gonds: Gear erumi; Hindi: Arna; Ho-kols: Birbiar; Kachari: Misip; Karens: Pana; Kukis: Siloi; Malay: Karbo, Karabu; Manipuri: Iroi; Marathi: jangli mhais; Nagas: Gubuc, Rili, Ziz, Le; Singhalese: Mi Harak; Tamil: erumai; Thai: Kwai-paa; Tibetan: Mahey.

Former distribution: Iraq, Iran, Egypt, India, Nepal, Assam, Burma, Thailand, Laos, Kampuchea, Vietnam, Malaysia; North Africa?
Present distribution: India, Assam, Nepal, Burma, Thailand, Laos, Kampuchea, Vietnam, Malaysia, and at the Ischkeui Park in Tunisia. Introduced into Europe, South America, northern Australia, Philippines, Borneo, Sri Lanka and South Africa: Cape Province (Vryburg).
Behaviour: Preferred habitat: swamps, grass jungles, marshes, alongside rivers; diet includes water and swamp plants, reeds and grasses; behaviour very similar to the African buffalos; they are excellent swimmers and bathe daily; activity diurnal and nocturnal. Predators include tigers and wild dogs.
Population status: Vulnerable. Estimated numbers in Australia: 250 000.
Brief notes:
Body weight: 700-900 kg
Head and body length: 250-300 cm
Tail length: 60-100 cm
Shoulder height: 150-180 cm
Gestation period: 310-330 days
Maximum age: Up to 30 years
Trophy: Record SCI: 140 4/8 score, 1981 Australia, WILLIAM FORDHAM; average 68 score. 84 2/8 score, South Africa, Vryburg, BARJONA MEEK; average 68 score. 122 4/8 score, 1981 Brazil, BERT KLINEBURGER; average 95 score. RW’s: 93″, 1933 Assam, A.K. MACOMBER; average 45″. CIC: 330 points, Vietnam, B. DE LESSEPS; average 300 points.
Hunting methods: Stalking, elephant-back, beaters.
Subspecies: 4 Indo-Malayan region, 1 also Palaearctic
1. Bubalus a. arnee India; introduced into Sri Lanka; Tunisia. Vulnerable. (also Palearctic: Tunisia; Reserve of Ischkeul. Endangered. Estimated numbers: Less than 100.)
2. Bubalus a. fulvus Northern Assam. Vulnerable.
3. Bubalus a. bubalis Thailand, Laos, Kampuchea, Vietnam, Malaysia. Stable.
4. Bubalus a. hosei Borneo. Stable.
Remarks: Water Buffalos are still both feral and domesticated, and widespread over Asia, South America, Australia, North Africa and Europe. In Australia, Sri Lanka, Borneo, Argentina and Brazil they became wild after introduction but they have been feral in Tunisia for 2000 years – the time of the Romans. Now under protection in the Ischkeui Park. They are present in domesticated form in Hungary, Italy, and southern Iran. It is not yet clear if Bubalus a. bubalis and Bubalus a. hosei are truly feral or whether they have run wild again; probably they are descendants from domesticated stock.