TRANSLOCATION OF WILD BUFFALOES
What’s in news?
Around the end of monsoon, five female wild buffaloes will travel from Assam to the Udanti Wildlife Sanctuary in Raipur district.
- Five female wild buffaloes will travel more than 1,500 km crossing five States the longest such translocation in the country to help revive the waning population of Chhattisgarh’s State animal and expand its territory across States.
- With just nine buffaloes, including three females, left in the sanctuary, their revival across central India, a historical habitat, rests on hassle-free translocation, successful breeding and subsequent restocking of other habitats in the region.
- The translocation was necessiatated with the motive of increasing male population as these wild buffaloes are facing few survival hazards like inbreeding, continuing lineage.
- Scientists and government officials met earlier this year to finalize a translocation protocol.
- Stating that 20-25 buffaloes of Indravati National Park in Bijapur, Chhattisgarh, also frequently travel to neighbouring Kolamarka Conservation Reserve in Gadchiroli, Maharashtra.
- The wild water buffalo is a large bovine native to the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia.
- This is also known as Asian buffalo, Asiatic buffalo and wild Asian buffalo.
- IUCN Status: Endangered since 1986.
- A population decline of at least 50% over the last three generations (24–30 years) is projected to continue.
- Wild water buffalo are both diurnal and nocturnal.
The most important threats are:
- Interbreeding with feral and domestic buffalo in and around protected areas
- Hunting, especially in Thailand, Cambodia, and Myanmar
- Habitat loss of floodplain areas due to conversion to agriculture and hydropower development
- Degradation of wetlands due to invasive species such as stem twiners and lianas
- Diseases and parasites transmitted by domestic livestock
- Interspecific competition for food and water between wild buffalo and domestic stock.
- CITES Appendix III, and is legally protected in Bhutan, India, Nepal, and Thailand.
- Placed under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife (protection) Act, 1972.
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