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Home >> Wild Animals in India >> Gaur (Indian Bison)

Gaur (Indian Bison)

The Gaur or Indian Bison is a large endangered herbivore, and can be seen in protected sanctuaries in India. In the wild its young are preyed upon by tigers and leopards and the loss of its habitat due to human encroachment has led to the reduction in its population across India. In North East India a tame version of the Gaur, known as Mithun is used as a farm animal and is sacrificed and eaten at ritual feasts.

Zoological name

Bos frontalis

Range

The Gaur can be seen in the wild in forests of South and Eastern India, Burma, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Nepal and Bhutan.

Estimated population

It is estimated that there are around 1000 Gaur or Indian Bison worldwide.

Physical characteristics
The Gaur or Indian Bison is a large animal. Male Gaurs are black in color, while female Gaurs are brown. Both the hide of male and female Gaurs is white below the knee of each leg, giving the gaur an appearance of wearing white stockings. Gaur calves are light brown and do not have "stockings." Adult Gaur bulls can grow almost 2 m tall and weigh from 650 to 1000 Kg. Female Gaur are smaller in size. Older male Gaurs have a big dorsal ridge along the length of their backs and huge dewlaps.

Habitat

The Gaur lives in grassy clearings and in evergreen and deciduous forest. The Barasingha is found in forested areas in Karnataka and Assam in India. It can live in altitudes up to 1,800 m. Gaur usually spend the night in a forest and emerge into the forest clearings to feed during the day.

Diet

Gaurs are herbivores. They feed mainly on grass. During times of drought Gaurs will eat leaves, creepers and plants. Being ruminant animals they usually feed during the morning, rest and ruminate in the afternoon, feed some more in the evening and return to the forest cover to rest at night.

Behavior

Gaurs usually live in herds of around 10 animals, however herds of up to 40 Gaurs have been seen. Herds are led by an adult male bull. Bulls fight amongst themselves to establish dominance over a herd. Male bulls may also live in bachelor herds. Gaurs vocalize to warn the herd of danger and to communicate among themselves. Licking is another means of communication among Gaurs.

Status

Gaurs are endangered with only around a 1000 left in the wild. Their numbers are threatened by human encroachment of their habitat. Diseases of domestic cattle are also a threat to the survival of Gaur in the wild.

Tourists can see the Gaur in the wild, in the Nagarhole and Bandipur National Parks in Karnataka India, and Kaziranga and Manas National Parks in Assam in North East India.


Wild Animals in India

Royal Bengal Tiger - Great Indian Rhinoceros - Indian Elephant - Leopard - Asiatic Lion - Barasingha - Gaur (Indian Bison) - Ganges River Dolphin


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Bengal Tiger


Bengal Tiger

The natural heritage in India is as rich and diverse as the cultural heritage. The wildlife sanctuaries and the national parks here give you an essence of the same. Nestled in this rich land is the Royal Bengal Tiger, the only home to the Royal Tiger Cat.

 
Wild Animals in IndiaWild Animals in India


Wild Animals in India

Royal Bengal Tiger - Great Indian Rhinoceros - Indian Elephant - Leopard - Asiatic Lion - Barasingha - Gaur (Indian Bison) - Ganges River Dolphin

 
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Glimpses of India

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