Vertebrate fauna of SE Asia


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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless credited to others.
Copyright ゥ Ecology Asia 2024




Family : Bovidae
Species : Bos gaurus (formerly Bos frontalis)

Shoulder Height : up to 1.9 metres
Tail : up to 1 metre
Weight : males up to 1000 kg

This is one of the largest species of wild bovine in the world. In Malaysia the species is generally called Seladang.

Gaur inhabit hilly or montane forested regions, though this may be a result of hunting pressure and habitat loss in lowland areas. They are typically sighted on hill slopes at the forest edge, and are known to frequent salt licks.

They may be either nocturnal or diurnal depending on local ecological circumstances or degree of disturbance.

Gaur feed on a wide variety of grasses, shrubs and bamboos. They are typically diurnal, but will become nocturnal if persecuted by hunters. Herd size may be up to 50 individuals, but typically is much smaller.

Both males and females are dark brown throughout, except for the knee and lower part of the leg which is creamy white. Their horns, which in large bulls may grow to a metre in length, are thick, and curve backwards. In males there is a thick ridge between the horns which is absent in females. Males also possess a prominent muscular ridge along the back, and sometimes a loose flap of skin (dewlap) at the throat.

Males weigh up to 1000 kg, and in rare cases may be even heavier. Females reach around 750 kg.

In Southeast Asia fragmented populations of Gaur occur in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Peninsular Malaysia. The species also occurs in most countries of South Asia including India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan and parts of southern China.

Fig 1 : Male and female pair in Kerala, India. Photo thanks to Dave Haylock

References : M5


Fig 1
ゥ  Dave Haylock