Wildlife Research Wildlife Research Society
Ecology, management and conservation in natural and modified habitats

The Water Buffalo, Bubalus Bubalis, in Australia: Reproductive and Parent-Offspring Behaviour.

DG Tulloch

Australian Wildlife Research 6(3) 265 - 287
Published: 1979


Water buffalo in the Northern Territory of Australia have a well defined breeding season in the wet or very early dry season. The birth of a calf is of major importance for the clan and for the family group of which that clan is a part. A number of calves are left in the care of an adult while their mothers go to graze. The female calf remains with its mother for many years, possibly for life, but at 2-3 y old the male calf is driven from the group by an adult bull when a cow in the group comes into oestrus. Most buffalo cows will readily adopt an orphan calf and within 8 days it is impossible to distinguish between the orphan and the group calves.


© CSIRO 1979

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