Geographic Range

Tamaraws are uncovered only on the island of Mindoro in the Philippines. Back fossil evidence says that castle may additionally have lived in the island that Luzon. The present distribution is minimal to the 9,375 km2 island of Mindoro. ~ above Mindoro, they space further restricted to three game refuges covering about 200,000 ha. The refuges were created in 1969 by the Philippine Parks and also Wildlife Office. (Custodio, et al., 1996; Kuehn, 1976; Kuehn, 1986)

Biogeographic regions asian Other geographic Terms


Before 1900, tamaraws were widely spread throughout the island, inhabiting all elevations (0-2000 m) and also all habitat types, consisting of Mindoro"s huge forests and less typical wetlands, grasslands, riparian areas, and also bamboo thickets. Person settlement in the beforehand 20th century led to enormous deforestation as the woodlands were convert to agricultural land. Currently, tamaraws inhabit Mindoro"s plentiful grasslands and secondary successional forests and also can be uncovered at 300 come 1000 m in elevation. Part researchers speculate that their desired habitat is forest edge, providing accessibility to forage, water, and also cover. (Custodio, et al., 1996; Kuehn, 1976; Kuehn, 1986)

Habitat regions Terrestrial Biomes range elevation 300 to 1000 m 984.25 come 3280.84 ft

Physical Description

Tamaraws are identified from associated buffalo by their smaller sized stature and also straight horns. These qualities (among others) led taxonomists to categorize these pets as a distinct species, and not a sub-species of Asiatic water buffalo (B. Bubalis). Complete height in ~ the shoulders is 106 cm. Head and also body length is 220 cm, and also tail size is 60 cm. Couple of reported weights are easily accessible in the literature. Those offered are for females only and selection from 180 to 300 kg. Horn shape have the right to be provided to determine the sex that skulls, through male horns being thicker, longer, flatter, and also closer together than those that females. Horn size is 35 to 43 cm. The dentist formula is 0/3, 0/1, 3/3, 3/3 = 32.

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Adult pelage is dark brown or black, through no differences in between sexes. Youth pelage is reddish-brown, v dark brown legs and also a black color dorsal line. Pelage transforms slate colored at 3 come 4 years of age, and adult coloration is completed at 5 year of age. Horn length and also thickness have the right to be used to age tamaraws in the field. As they mature, the horns flourish longer family member to the size of the ears and also broaden in ~ the base. (Custodio, et al., 1996; Kuehn, 1986)

various other Physical features homoiothermic sex-related Dimorphism sexes shaped differently selection mass 180 to 300 kg 396.48 to 660.79 lb Average length 220 cm 86.61 in


Little is known about mating solution of tamaraws in the wild. Males and females usually remain separate throughout most the the year, coming together only during reproduction season. Exactly how mates space selected is unkown. (Custodio, et al., 1996)

Bubalus mindorensis breeds throughout the dry season, native December come May. Gestation is 276 to 315 days, timed so the births occur throughout Mindoro"s wet season (June to November), allowing the neonates access to a fresh, plentiful food supply. Cows offer birth come a solitary calf every two years. Young leaving the mother at the age of 2 come 4 years, an interpretation calves from numerous years may accompany a cow at one time. Minimal evidence (a solitary observation) that a cow grazing 50 m native a newborn calf hiding in the grass suggests that young might behave together "hiders". Period of primiparity or sexual maturity is not given in the literature, but one resource says they reach "adulthood" at 6 year of age. (Custodio, et al., 1996; Kuehn, 1986)

crucial Reproductive functions gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate) breeding interval Tamaraw females breed every two years. breeding season Tamaraws mate throughout Mindoro"s dried season (December to May). Range number of offspring 1 (low) Average variety of offspring 1 range gestation duration 9.2 come 10.5 months range time to self-reliance 24 come 48 month

Females nurse and also care for their young, males do not administer parental care. Calves stay with their mother for 2 to 4 years, back the level of parental care detailed during this period is unclear. Females remain with the mother much longer than males. Tamaraws appear to act as usual "hiders", return this hypothesis comes from a solitary observation that a female tamaraw feeding a brief distance indigenous her covert calf. (Custodio, et al., 1996; Kuehn, 1986)

Parental invest no parental authorized pre-fertilization protecting female pre-hatching/birth provisioning mrs protecting female pre-weaning/fledging provisioning woman protecting mrs pre-independence provisioning mrs protecting mrs post-independence association through parents


The only reported life expectancy for tamaraws in the literature is 20 years, however whether this is for a wild or captive animal is unclear. (Custodio, et al., 1996)


Adult tamaraws, both cows and also bulls, are largely solitary. This differs from various other bovids, and has been defined as one adaptation to living in forested environments where huge social teams are impractical. Associations between males and females room infrequent and also short-lived, emerging during the breeding season. Cows are regularly accompanied by young of numerous years. Males and females are moved from household groups in ~ 3 and 4.5 years of age, respectively. Youth tamaraws are recognized to type groups for a year or more, however they end up being solitary as soon as they reach adulthood. Tamaraws are also described as being aggressive in the direction of humans. Traditionally, tamaraws were active during the day, feeding in nearby proximity to person ranching operations. Task patterns now appear much more nocturnal, with days spent relaxing in thick vegetation. In a restricted number of observations of tamaraw behavior, Kuehn (1986) did not observe fights in between bulls. However, bulls to be observed chasing other bulls, particularly during reproduction season and also on shed grasslands. Female tamaraws endangered conspecifics by lowering your heads and shaking their horns. Cows have also been it was observed chasing and also prodding their calves. Tamaraws will usage mud wallows choose related buffalo species. (Custodio, et al., 1996; Kuehn, 1986)

key Behaviors terricolous

Communication and also Perception

Very tiny is known about communication in tamaraws. Aggression is expressed through head movements and adult bulls will certainly occassionally interact dominance by chasing low grade males from food resources or potential mates. That is likely that tamaraws communicate also through some auditory and chemical cues. Many bovids have keen senses of smell and also hearing, although your eyesight may be poor. (Custodio, et al., 1996; Kuehn, 1986)

Communication networks Perception channels

Food Habits

Tamaraws room herbivorous, feeding ~ above grass types such as Cynodon arcuatus, Digitaria sanguinalis, Eleusine indica, Sorghum nitidum, Paspalum scrobilatum, Alloteropsis semialata, and also Vetiveria zizanoides. During the merganser season they feed on shoots of bamboo (Schizostachyum spp.). The Batangans, a tribal team practicing slash-and-burn farming on Mindoro, typically burn tiny plots for agriculture. Tamaraws frequently visit these newly melted locations to feeding on grass shoots. (Custodio, et al., 1996)

primary Diet herbivore Plant foodstuffs leaves


Tamaraws have no known native predators on Mindoro, and also frequently fed in the open throughout daylight, suggesting little concern because that predation. People are the only predator of tamaraws, and the breakthrough of Mindoro has also led to a more secretive and nocturnal way of living for tamaraws. (Custodio, et al., 1996)

Ecosystem Roles

Given their current small population size, tamaraws space not most likely to beat a dominant role in the ecosystem procedures of contemporary Mindoro. The historical importance the tamaraws in the Mindoro ecosystem is unclear, although lock may have actually influenced vegetation sequence through their grazing and also wallowing.

Economic prominence for Humans: Positive

Tamaraws have actually been pursued for food and also sport in the past, but these tasks have been outlawed since 1936. (Custodio, et al., 1996; Kuehn, 1986)

Positive results body components are source of valuable material

Economic prestige for Humans: Negative

There space no well-known adverse affect of tamaraws ~ above humans.

Conservation Status

Tamaraws are provided as CR C1 (critically intimidated with an observed decrease of 80% end the last 10 years) through the IUCN and noted in Appendix ns by the Convention on global Trade the Endangered types of Wild Flora and also Fauna (CITES). Their numbers have decreased from an approximated 10,000 in 1900 to around 20 to 200 people today, making this types one of the rarest mammals in the world. The population trend is continuing downwards. Major threats have contained habitat loss and also degradation as result of agriculture, logging, and development, hunting and poaching, and disease. A rinderpest epidemic in 1930 was an especially devastating come the population. Tamaraws are protected under Philippine law, and several reserves have been developed to preserve habitat because that wild, free-ranging tamaraws. The oriental Wild livestock Specialist team (AWCSG) of the IUCN listed habitat management, life-history research, limiting-factor research, and monitoring together the recommended research and also management choices for tamaraws. (Custodio, et al., 1996; Heinen and Srikosamatara, 1996; "IUCN Red perform of endangered Species", 2002; Nowak and also Paradiso, 1983)

Other Comments

Bubalus mindorensis was initially explained independently by Heude and also Steere in 1888 and 1889, respectively, return Heude is listed as the specific authority. (Custodio, et al., 1996)


Tanya Dewey (editor), pet Diversity Web.

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Peter Gesch (author), college of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, chris Yahnke (editor), university of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.