Buffalo Species

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by redriverjake, Nov 11, 2018.

  1. redriverjake

    redriverjake AH Senior Member

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    Hello gentlemen, my question is simple... How many clearly defined species and subspecies of buffalo are huntable ? I know there are probably hundreds of almost indistinguishable and or unrecognized subspecies, applying mostly to Asian riverine buffalo but I'd like to establish a general list for someone that wants to hunt the worlds great bovine. My count so far looks as follows.

    True Buffalo:
    1. Cape Buffalo (southern)
    2. Forest Buffalo (dwarf)
    3. Nile Buffalo
    4. Asian Buffalo (riverine)
    5. Asian Buffalo (swamp)

    Extra credit:
    1. N. American Bison (plains)
    2. N. American Bison (wood)
    3. European Bison
    4. Banteng

    I look forward to reading your replies and taking all opinions into consideration. Thank you in advance.
     

  2. JPbowhunter

    JPbowhunter AH Enthusiast

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    I don't believe banteng are considered a species of buffalo. They're more a wild species of cattle and share a genus with the extinct species of wild cattle that lead to the domestic breeds we have today Aurochs.
     

  3. redriverjake

    redriverjake AH Senior Member

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    You're absolutely right and that's why I put them in the extra credit category. I'm leaving that category open for critters like that, the wild cattle and things of that nature. Thank you for your reply.
     

  4. JPbowhunter

    JPbowhunter AH Enthusiast

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    In that case you have indian gaur, which i believe are the largest living bovid fit in with the cattle. Wild yak from memory are in the bos genus too.
     

  5. redriverjake

    redriverjake AH Senior Member

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    Yes sir, I don't think any of the gaur species are huntable and I think the yaks can only be shot on game ranches in the US. I'm not 100% sure about that though.
     

  6. JPbowhunter

    JPbowhunter AH Enthusiast

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    Apologies, did not see the huntable part.

    The humble old bos taurus i.e. scrub bulls in australia is another one.
     
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  7. redriverjake

    redriverjake AH Senior Member

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    So the list grows...

    True Buffalo:
    1. Cape Buffalo (southern)
    2. Forest Buffalo (dwarf)
    3. Nile Buffalo
    4. Asian Buffalo (riverine)
    5. Asian Buffalo (swamp)

    Extra credit:
    1. N. American Bison (plains)
    2. N. American Bison (wood)
    3. European Bison
    4. Banteng
    5. Scrub Bull (European short horn)
     

  8. IvW

    IvW AH Elite

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    • Syncerus caffer caffer (Cape buffalo or southern savanna buffalo) is the typical subspecies, and the largest one, with large males weighing up to 910 kg (2,010 lb). The average weight of bulls from South Africa was 753 kg (1,660 lb). In Serengeti National Park, eight bulls averaged similarly 751 kg (1,656 lb). Mature cows from Kruger National Park averaged 513 kg (1,131 lb). In both Kenya and Botswana, the average adult weight of this race was estimated as 631 kg (1,391 lb). It is peculiar to Southern and East Africa. Buffaloes of this subspecies living in the south of the continent, notably tall in size and ferocity, are the so-called Cape buffalo. Color of this subspecies is the darkest, almost black.
    • S. c. nanus (forest buffalo, dwarf buffalo) is the smallest subspecies; the height at the withers is less than 120 cm and average weight is about 270 kg (600 lb), or about the size of a zebra and two to three times lighter in mass than the nominate race. The color is red, with darker patches on the head and shoulders, and in the ears, forming a brush. The dwarf buffalo is common in forest areas of Central and West Africa. This subspecies is so different from the standard model, some researchers consider it still a separate species, S. nanus. Hybrids between the typical subspecies and dwarf are not uncommon.
    • S. c. brachyceros (Sudanese buffalo) is, in morphological terms, intermediate between those two subspecies. It occurs in West Africa. Its dimensions are relatively small, especially compared to other buffalo found in Cameroon, which weigh half as much as the South African subspecies (bulls weighing 600 kg (1,300 lb) are considered to be very large). Adults average in weight approximately 400 kg (880 lb).
    • S. c. aequinoctialis (Nile buffalo) is confined to the savannas of Central Africa. It is similar to the Cape buffalo, but somewhat smaller, and its color is lighter. This subspecies is sometimes included in the Sudanese buffalo.
    • S. c. mathewsi (mountain buffalo or Virunga buffalo) is not universally recognized. It lives in mountainous areas of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda.
     

  9. redriverjake

    redriverjake AH Senior Member

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    That was one of the first of the things I read. I don't believe it's anywhere near comprehensive and I think it lacks some verification . I'm trying to get a concrete concrete list together that is easily understood by anyone that is interested . Thank you for your reply.
     
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  10. steve ahrenberg

    steve ahrenberg AH Senior Member

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    Don't know if its an actual Taxonomical sub-species, but Central Savanna Buffalo? It may be in the above Buffalo species cut and paste under a different name.
     
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  11. redriverjake

    redriverjake AH Senior Member

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    IMG_4755.jpg
    Thank you for your reply. I just found this little beauty in the SCI online record book. I'm sensing a lot of overlap though. I've been looking at these critters for a bit now and I can hardly see enough differentiation between some of them to outright call them a different buffalo. It's seems to me like some of this is what I'll call "whitetail deer syndrome " in that there are some you can clearly see physical differences in but to me it seems very regional. I mean there are over 30 whitetail subspecies listed for North America alone. I guess it makes the 6 buffalo for all of Africa seem more reasonable. Let's go with it though for the sake of improving our list...

    Current list:

    True Buffalo:
    1. Cape Buffalo (southern)
    2. Forest Buffalo (dwarf)
    3. Savanna (East African)
    4. Savanna (Central African)
    5. Savanna ( West African)
    6. Nile Buffalo
    7. Asian Buffalo (riverine)
    8. Asian Buffalo (swamp)

    Extra credit:
    1. N. American Bison (plains)
    2. N. American Bison (wood)
    3. European Bison
    4. Banteng (Bali cow)
    5. Scrub Bull (feral ox)
     

    Attached Files:


  12. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com AH ENABLER FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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  13. redriverjake

    redriverjake AH Senior Member

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    Thank you for taking the time to reply. That was a very good article and just shows how tricky this can all be. What I basically read was that in one area in C.A.R a fellow can end up with quite a few different variations of what is considered the same animal. It comes down to preference and what you picture in your head to be a Central African Savanna Buffalo, however if you are looking at the book they are all measured the same. How fascinating and equally confusing.
     

  14. steve ahrenberg

    steve ahrenberg AH Senior Member

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    I hunted CAR in 2012. They (CAWA) have two buffalo on a 21 day license. I believe in an effort for a client to be able to shoot a Dwarf and a Central. I shot one that was obviously a Central and one that appeared to be a crossbreed.
     
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  15. redriverjake

    redriverjake AH Senior Member

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    Thank you Mr. Ahrenberg for sharing your experience. That sounds like quite the trip. I don't know if you have posted pictures of them on here yet but I know for one I'd love to see them. I'm kind of getting it sorted now, I've tried to find what information I can online about all of these animals and think that I can finally tell the general difference between the western savanna and the central savanna varieties. The eastern savanna still eludes me but I'm guessing it more closely resembles the Nile buffalo than it would any of the others. I believe when a couple of us can agree that we have a solid list I'll post pictures and description of a standard looking animal next to each listing so that anyone is curious will have an idea what they are looking for.
     

  16. huntinlabs

    huntinlabs AH Enthusiast

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    I think Muscox would fit in the extra credit line?
     
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  17. redriverjake

    redriverjake AH Senior Member

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    I absolutely agree
     

  18. Hunter Franklin

    Hunter Franklin New Member

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    Muscox wouldn’t even be in the cattle area. They’re closer related to sheep
     

  19. redriverjake

    redriverjake AH Senior Member

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    You have a point but there is something about them that’s awful bovine like. I think it’s a good extra credit animal. I think the Golden Takin is too. Yes, they are closer to a sheep also but kind of their own thing. Or we can make a new category... wild buffalo/cattle kinda things
     

  20. huntinlabs

    huntinlabs AH Enthusiast

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    The muskox is a member of the bovine, or cattle, family. Other wild North American bovines include mountain sheep, Dall sheep, mountain goats, and American buffalo. An identifying characteristic of bovines is their horns, which are carried by both males and females and are not shed

    Taken from the Fish and Wildlife site.
     

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