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Back to mammals with the ASIAN WATER BUFFALO

Back to mammals with the massive and certainly our largest mammal in HK; the ASIAN WATER BUFFALO AKA THE DOMESTIC WATER BUFFALO (Bubalus bubalis)

Information taken from my book...WILDCREATURES OF HONG KONG

Order Artiodactyla (even-toed ungulates) Like the oxen, these were introduced in Hong Kong in the early twentieth century, to be used by the rice farmers as draught animals to plough the rice fields, or to produce milk for local dairy farms. The feral cattle and water buffaloes that now live wild in parts of Hong Kong are descended from these animals that were released as farming practices declined. Wild relatives such as gaur are native to southeast Asia, and may well have lived here before. Current issues facing the free roaming bovine mainly centre around habitat destruction, increasing conflict with traffic, being in legal limbo (not owned livestock/but not legally recognised as "wild"), supplemental feeding and lack of a long-term conservation management plan.

SEE THEM: Kam Tin, Pui O. Water buffalo favour marshy areas, and WWF keep them at Mai Po marshes, where they control vegetation height, keeping an open wetland habitat, which is great for many waterbirds.

SPECIES ID: Much larger than cattle, and covered in more hair than an ox. They have wonderfully large horns that grow outward, and curve in a semicircle.


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