Kaziranga counts its wild buffaloesMarch 28th, 2008 - 5:06 pm ICT by admin
Kaziranga (Assam), March 28 (IANS) India’s endangered wild buffalo, a favourite prey of the tigers, was counted Friday at the Kaziranga national park in Assam. The results will be out over the weekend. Over 300 forest staff covered the sprawling grasslands and forest looking for the rare herbivores.
The last count in the 430-sq-km Kaziranga put the number of wild buffaloes at around 1,400. They are thought to be less than 4,000 in number in India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Thailand.
In India, the wild buffaloes are found in Assam and Chhattisgarh. Occasional sightings of the animal - called the Asiatic Water Buffaloes - have also been reported from Meghalaya and Maharashtra.
A wild buffalo can weigh 900-1,200 kg.
Kaziranga, a Unesco heritage site some 250 km from Guwahati, Assam’s biggest city, is famous for the one-horned rhinoceros. The government included the park under the Project Tiger to protect the big cat.
“The census was conducted in the four ranges of the park - Bagori, Burapahar, Central Range and Agaratoli,” park director S.N. Buragohain told IANS. The census is conducted every three years, he said.
In February, a swamp deer count in the park found around 600 animals - up from 400 a few years back. In the same month, another census found 1,293 elephants in the park, the director said.
Buragohain said it would take at least three to four days to compile the buffalo figures.
For the tigers, swamp deer and wild buffaloes are important food source. These buffaloes are also important to the grassland ecosystem as they help in plant rejuvenation.
Crossbreeding with domestic buffalo as well as shrinkage and destruction of the habitat were considered major threats to the wild buffalo’s survival in the range. The animal is protected by the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has classified the animal as endangered in its red list of threatened species.
- Animals flee flooded Kaziranga park - Jun 28, 2010
- Assam floods leave nearly 600 animals dead in Kaziranga - Jul 09, 2012
- Rhino poached in Kaziranga National Park - Apr 12, 2012
- Assam's one-horned rhino population rises by 250 - Apr 09, 2012
- Tourists flock to Kaziranga National Park - Jan 18, 2011
- Experts urged to reduce animal deaths in floods - Jul 07, 2012
- Rhino census to be held in Assam from March 15 - Feb 28, 2012
- New grasslands to boost Bihar tigers (With Images) - Jan 08, 2012
- Two poachers shot dead in Kaziranga - Dec 13, 2010
- 'Lack of political will behind conservation woes' (With Image) - May 19, 2012
- Cow or swamp deer? Madhya Pradesh debates - Mar 12, 2011
- Assam wildlife group protests removal of rhino's horn - Mar 25, 2012
- One-horned rhino killed in Kaziranga park - Oct 28, 2010
- With 200 tigers, Corbett turns a proud 75 (With Image) - Sep 11, 2011
- Rhinos number in Assam's Orang, Pabitora up - Mar 20, 2012
Tags: assam, big cat, conservation of nature, crossbreeding, domestic buffalo, food source, forest staff, grassland ecosystem, guwahati, herbivores, iucn, kaziranga national park, meghalaya, nepal bhutan, park director, project tiger, swamp deer, unesco heritage, water buffaloes, wildlife protection act