There are various mammals that are bred for their milk, meat, and other consumables. In earlier times, most of the population are either farmers or shepherds. During that period, their animals used to roam and graze freely. Though this is still in practice, this is only true for those who have buffaloes, cows, goats, etc. Coming to think of it, you must have watched buffaloes in various regions. Have you ever wondered, where do buffaloes roam, where do water buffalo live, and so on? However, nowadays, we hardly see any of them, are buffalo endangered? Let’s start and find out.
1. What is WaterBuffalo?
A large bovid, belonging to the family of ruminant mammals, mostly native to Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent is known as the water buffalo or the domestic water buffalo. Due to their native areas, they are also referred to as Asian water buffalo. This species of buffaloes is scientifically known as Bubalus Bubalis, belonging to the Bovidae family. (See What is a Baby Sheep Called?)
2. What are Types of Water Buffaloes?
According to the experts, water buffaloes can be classified into two types, based on their behavior, namely River buffaloes and Swamp buffaloes.
- The river buffaloes are native to the Indian subcontinent, the Balkans in the west, as well as Italy and Egypt.
- The Swamp buffaloes are native to Assam in the west, stretching through Southeast Asia, till the Yangtze valley, China in the east. (See List of Names for Groups of Animals)
3. What are the Characteristics of River Buffaloes?
Usually, these mammals have the following features:
- Black skin, but some species may have gray-colored skin too.
- Longer faces, bigger limbs, and smaller girths.
- Dorsal ridges that are extending back and tapering off more gradually.
- Horns growing backward and tilting downwards into a spiral. (See How do Animals cause Erosion?)
4. What are the Characteristics of Swamp Buffaloes?
Before answering the question of where do buffaloes roam, let’s find out about the characteristics of the swamp buffaloes. They have:
- Slate-colored skin at birth that turns gray-blue as they age.
- Heavy short bodies with large bellies.
- Short faces with wide muzzles and prominent eyes.
- Long necks and the dorsal ridges that end before the chest.
- Horns that are curved in a semicircle grow outward. (See How Big is the Biggest Octopus?)
5. What are the Body Ratios of Buffaloes?
Depending on their breeds, water buffaloes differ based on their characteristics like weights, their pattern of horns, and heights.
- The average height in males is 51-52 inches (129-133 cm) at the withers (the ridge between the shoulder blades of an animal). In females, it is 47-50 inches (120-127 inches). However, a large variant may reach up to a height of 63 inches (160 cm).
- At maturity, the head-lump length is between 94-118 inches (240-300 cm), along with a 24-39 inches (60-100 cm) long tail.
- The average weight is between 300 and 500 kilograms (660-1210 lb.), but in larger species, it can be over 1000-1100 kilograms (2200-2400 lb). (See 9 Differences between Mule and Donkey)
6. Where do Buffalo live and at What temperatures?
You may also ask, where do water buffalo live and how do they choose their habitat? Well, one of the main reasons why water buffaloes choose their habitats near water bodies is to beat the heat. To survive in hot temperatures, they need water for thermoregulation.
- Swamp buffaloes are known for their love of wallowing. It is the process of animals rolling themselves in mud, snow, or water, and during these, they acquire a thick coating of mud on themselves.
- While river buffaloes prefer deep water. Both species can live in hot and humid climates, with temperatures between 0° Celsius and 30° Celsius (32° Fahrenheit to 86° Fahrenheit), sometimes higher during summer. (See What is the Largest Cattle Ranch in The United States?)
7. What do they eat?
Water buffaloes feed on a variety of things, including aquatic plants and reeds. They also feed on flowering plants like Juncaceae and Cyperaceae. Common water hyacinth is their favorite plant. During floods or heavy rain, they easily feed on underwater edible plants with their bodies submerged in water and raised heads. Buffaloes are mostly bred for milk production, and so they are fed fodder crops in the form of hay or chaffed. To know more about where do buffaloes roam in general, let’s dive into the next segment. (See What Animal Eats Bananas?)
8. Where do Buffaloes roam?
The buffalo breeds, which are considered endangered, have been kept in reserves. The other breeds which are kept or bred as animal husbandry are seen roaming in large herds. They roam in the grass fields and water bodies around the farms. So, where do buffaloes roam totally depends on the conditions of the place where they can have enough water and grass. However, the reserved species are seen roaming in national parks or animal reserves and by the time of sunset, the herd returns to their sheds. (See Where do Cows Live?)
9. Are Buffalo endangered?
Water buffaloes are not on the list of endangered animals, but their other cousin breeds like African Buffalo, American Bison, and Musk Ox are on the list of near-threatened animals. Their existence is threatened due to extensive poaching for their skin, horns, and hooves. American Bison was once an endangered species during the 19th century, but desperate attempts of environmentalists, scientists, and researchers paved a way for their recovery and conservation. (See What is a Herd of Moose Called?)
Now, you have the answer to where do buffaloes roam and what do they eat. It is usually the water bodies nearby or the grasslands, as they do not prefer going far away from their sheds. So, there are the two places that might come to your mind if you ponder where do water buffalo live, and where you can find them if they go missing. But poaching for their skin and horns is the prime reason which answers the query of are buffalo endangered or threatened. (See Do Bulls Hate Red?)