Gaur-The massive Asian Cattle

 

The Gaur is one of the largest cattle species in the world. Its head is massive, and they have a solid body structure. Their colour ranges from reddish, or brown to black while limbs are pale coloured. Their upward-curved horns are yellow with black tips. Gaurs have humps which are prevalent, in males.

Gaur-The massive Asian Cattle

They have a dewlap of skin that is present form their throat to their forelegs. There are about 13, 000 Gaurs left in the wild. The Gaurs lifespan is 26 years. The Gaurs live throughout Southern Asian countries like Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Lao, Malaysia (Peninsular Malaysia), Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Body length-wise, the gaurs measure between 2.5 and 3.3 m (8.25-11ft.) in length and weight between 650 and 1,000 kg (1,430 – 2,210 lb).  Males are 25% bigger than females. Their tail length is between 70 and 100 cm (28 – 39 inches).

Diet, Habitat, Behaviour and Mating.

Diet: Gaurs are herbivores. They feed on grass, leaves, forbs, coarse, and dry grasses.

Habitat: Gaurs live in habitats like grassy terrains, forested hills, habitat ranges with high elevations of up to 1800 metres

Behaviour: Gaurs have high-pitched noises (snorts) and after the snorts, they make a growling ‘moo’ sound. These snorts act as an alarm call. Gaurs are active in the morning and evening, but they also can be active during the day and they can be nocturnal. Bulls make other calls that relate to mating or related to bringing the herd together. The herd includes 8-11 or more individuals including females and one dominant male. Herd ranges cover about 78 sq. km in territory.

The other males in the herd may form bachelor herds, or in certain cases, the older bulls might go their separate way. When a bull senses a threat, they lower the heads and hind attacking the rival with its horns from the broadside.

Gaur-The massive Asian Cattle

Mating: Gaurs are polyamorous, where one male mates with many females and the reproduction season occurs all year-round. The bigger males have more chances of mating with the females. Peak of the reproductive season, occurs in December-June. The duration of the pregnancy is around 270-280 days, and the female carries one calf. Females have 12-15 months between births and the calves wane at 9 months. At the time of the birth, the calf weighs 23kg.

Gaurs mature at about 2-3 years old.

Predators: Tigers and humans.

Threats and Conservation Efforts

Threats: Major threats to the Gaur’s existence is the loss of habitat, sport-related hunting and poaching. Also, domestic cattle diseases like rinderpest, hoof or mouth disease are threats to the Gaur’s existence. The IUCN Red List classifies the Gaur as “Vulnerable” but the population trend is decreasing, which is not good for the Gaur.

 

Author Neel

Gaur-The massive Asian Cattle

Sources:

http://animalia.bio/gaur

http://www.eurekaselect.com/129230/chapter/population-density-and-conservation-status-of-indian-gaur-%28bos-gaurus-gaurus%29-in-trishna-wildlife-sanctuary%2C-trip

https://news.mongabay.com/2011/02/parks-key-to-saving-indias-great-mammals-from-extinction/

http://www.theanimalfiles.com/mammals/hoofed_mammals/gaur.html

 

Gaur-The massive Asian Cattle

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