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The water buffalo bubalus bubalis in australia grouping and home range



The water buffalo bubalus bubalis in australia grouping and home range



Australian Wildlife Research 5(3): 327-354



Water buffalo in the Northern Territory of Australia have four castes: males, females, juveniles and calves. In the wet season, from Oct. to about April (the main mating season), males congregate with females, calves are born and adult bulls associate closely with cows in estrus. During the dry season (from May to about Sept.) bulls and cows inhabit separate areas: cows and their calves in those areas of the black soil plains, adjoining high ground, where there is water, shade and some green feed; males on the open plains where there is dry feed and water, but little or no shade. Cow herds of 30-500 animals move over restricted home ranges, joined by males in the breeding season. For the entire period of the study (14 yr) female calves remained with their mothers; presumably they remained for life. No bulls remained after 3 yr old. Buffaloes establish a very strong site attachment, but cows and calves are more restricted than bulls.

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