GAUR/Behaviour, Distribution, Habitat, Size, Weight, IUCN stetus


DESCRIPTION: The largest bovine in peninsular India,the Gaur is often
mistakenly called the Indian Bison although it is not related to the North American Bison. It is a large, dark bovine with white stockings from hoof to hock. Both sexes have a massive head, deep chest and a muscular shoulder ridge that forms a step midway along the back. The latter is well developed in males. They both bear short horns that rise from a hairy and pale temporal boss, and curve
outwards, and then inwards and slightly backwards. The horns are brownish
yellow at the base with a bluish green tinge in the middle, darkening to dark
brown or even black at the tip. Adult males have short, glossy, black fur, while the
young and females are coffee–brown. Bulls inhabiting dry sal forests are less dark than those inhabiting teak forests or moist deciduous patches. The muzzle is
large, naked and moist, and the lips are white. The female has four teats. The male
has a pronounced dewlap that hangs low and heavy from neck to chest. The tail is
long and tufted, the tuft reaching the hocks. The newborn calf changes colour from golden yellow to fawn, light brown, and then red–brown. The juvenile develops white stockings at around three or four months.
BEHAVIOUR: Very calm for a creature of its size, the Gaur rarely attacks unless tormented, and in most parts of south India will allow humans to approach very
close. Shows a lateral display of dewlap and ridge to rival males but lowers its
head and raises its tail if a threat is indicated. It has an acute sense of smell. If a herd is taken by surprise, it might start a stampede with calves getting run over in
the process.

DISTRIBUTION: In three discrete populations in southern India, central India and in north–east India. Limited in the north by River Narmada.
HABITAT: Moist deciduous bamboo and teak habitats with open grasslands most favoured, along with semi-evergreen and evergreen forests. Also found in dry deciduous, scrub and plantations.

Size: HBL: 165–330 cm, 

Wt: 650–1,000 kg

IUCN Status: Vulnerable


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