Buffaloes are introduced to the Australian habitat in the year 1880. Australian Water Buffaloes are now feral buffaloes. They have been abandoned, due to the failure of the domestication of buffaloes by early settlements. The descendants of these freed animals have become feral and are now thriving in the Australian wetlands.
Australia has two types of buffalo: one with curled horns which is River type and other is swept back horns which are Swamp type. The Swamp Buffalo was originally imported from Indonesia. The River Buffalo was originally imported from India.
Australian water Buffalo Characteristics
Feral buffaloes eat aquatic plants, grass, and different plant matter, as well as the bark of trees.
Water Buffalo live up to twenty years getting on.
They can mature to two meters tall, three meters long and weigh up to one,200 kilograms.
Feral buffalo opt to graze at nighttime, defrayal most of the day in wallows to flee biting insects and to remain cool.
Males eat up to thirty kilograms of food day after day.
These animals are a lot sensitive to heat as a result of they need fewer sweat glands.
1. Swamp Buffalo
The Swamp Buffalo was imported from Indonesia.
Shorter wider snout, a stockier build with shorter limbs and a much bigger belly than the watercourse buffalo.
It has a flat forehead with outstanding eyes and big swept-back rounded horns.
These horns are spectacular and might qualify to two meters from tip to tip.
It has short black or grey-black fur on black skin and a brief tail.
The swamp buffalo is larger and a lot prevalent in Australia than the river buffalo. It prefers defrayal most its time coating itself in mud, in swamps and water holes.
2. River Buffalo
It has an extended, narrower snout, longer limbs, and a smaller belly than the swamp buffalo.
It has little curled horns that appear to grow out of a helmet.
It likes to pay its time in clearwater, sometimes in rivers.
This breed was originally foreign primarily for its milk that is incredibly high in animal fat.
Australian water Buffaloes Impact
The feral buffalo has been a serious environmental disaster within the wetlands of the highest finish of the territorial dominion. once the population was at its highest, from the 1960s to the 1980s, the feral buffalo grossly altered the character of the northern floodplains.
With its wallows, trails, dung, trampling, and disturbance, it caused erosion, channeling of floodwaters, inflated intrusion of water into fresh habitats and destruction of land vegetation.
These effects were worse throughout dry periods once animals targeted at receding water. A lot of native land flora and fauna didn’t thrive within the dirty or salt-polluted water. They additionally suffered from the disturbance and loss of canopy.
Crocodiles, barramundi, fresh turtles and different native species declined, and plenty of waterbirds, together with magpie geese, lost their environment.
Feral buffalo eat massive volumes of grasses and different plants, removing this food supply for native life, and that they will harm the trees they frequently rub against. Their trample and soil disturbance additionally promotes the unfold of weeds across the landscape.
Feral buffalo will carry vital diseases of Bos taurus, significantly TB and brucellosis.
Control of Australian water Buffaloes
Prior to extensive culling in the 1980s, as part of the Brucellosis and Tuberculosis Eradication Campaign, there were as many as 350 000 Buffalo
The program involved culling from expert shooters in helicopters. The program started in 1979 and lasted until 1997.
The numbers were reduced to 80,000 in 1996. The difficult terrain made full eradication impossible.
Even today hunting of Australian water buffaloes is encouraged.
A number of small scales industries have developed for live export and meat production. A small number, around 3,000 annually, are also captured and exported overseas, mainly to Indonesia.
Australian water Buffalo History
Between 1825 and 1843, about 80 buffalo were brought to Northern territory of Australia for meat. When these settlements were abandoned in the mid-1900s, the buffalo soon colonized the permanent and semi-permanent swamps and freshwater springs of the top end of the Northern Territory.
In the 1980s it was estimated that there were more than 350,000 feral buffaloes in the Northern Territory.
Australian Buffalo details
|Breed Name||Australian Buffalo|
|Other Name||Australian water buffalo, feral water buffalo, swamp buffalo, river buffalo|
|Country/Place of Origin||Indonesia and India|
|Breed Purpose||feral (but now they are for meat and export)|
|Weight Male||1200 kg|
|Weight Female||450 kg|
|Milk Yield||12 kgs to 16 kgs|
|Skin color||grey black|
|Climate Tolerance||Any climate|