Asiatic Wild Water Buffalo, Bubalus arnee
The Asiatic buffalo were photographed along a waterway located in Kaziranga National Park, Assam, India.
The wild water buffalo (Bubalus arnee), also called Asian buffalo and Asiatic buffalo, is a large bovine native to the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia. It is listed as Endangered in the IUCN Red List since 1986, as the remaining population totals less than 4,000, with an estimate of fewer than 2,500 mature individuals. The population decline of at least 50% over the last three generations (24–30 years) is projected to continue.
The global population has been estimated at 3,400 individuals, of which 3,100 (91%) live in India, mostly in Assam.
Wild water buffalos occur in India, Nepal, Bhutan, Thailand, and Cambodia, with an unconfirmed population in Myanmar. They have been extirpated in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Laos and Vietnam. They are associated with wet grasslands, swamps and densely vegetated river valleys.
In India, they are largely restricted to in and around Kaziranga, Manas and Dibru-Saikhowa National Parks, Laokhowa Wildlife Sanctuary and Bura Chapori Wildlife Sanctuary and in a few scattered pockets in Assam; and in and around D'Ering Memorial Wildlife Sanctuary in Arunachal Pradesh. A small population survives in Balpakram National Park in Meghalaya, and in Chhattisgarh (formerly part of Madhya Pradesh) in the Indravati National Park and the Udanti Wildlife Sanctuary. This population might extend into adjacent parts of Orissa. In the early 1990s, there may still have been about 3,300–3,500 wild buffaloes in Assam and the adjacent states of northeast India. In 1997, the number was assessed at less than 1,500 mature individuals