Overview

Brief Summary

Biology

The elusive mountain anoa appears to be a solitary animal, although suggestions that monogamous pairs remain together have been made, and there is evidence that females form herds when giving birth (5). Breeding is continuous throughout the year, with one calf born from each pregnancy lasting 275 to 315 days. Mothers will groom and protect their calves, but it is unknown how much involvement the male has with the rearing of the calf. Weaning has been assumed to take place at six to nine months, a similar length of time as for the lowland anoa. The mountain anoa is sexually mature at two years. It is not thought to be territorial, and is known to be most active in the morning and the late afternoon when they feed on vegetation and bathe in water and mud pools, spending the remaining time resting and ruminating (4) (5).
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Description

This even-toed ungulate is actually a member of the wild cattle subfamily, but due to its small size, it more closely resembles a deer. Unlike the larger, short-haired lowland anoa, the mountain anoa has a longer, woolly coat which can be dark brown to black in colour. It moults every year between February and April, losing this woolly layer of fur to reveal light spots on the head, neck and limbs (5). The relatively small horns are evident in both males and females, and are conical and smooth (4). The mountain anoa is stocky, short-limbed and thick-necked (4).
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Distribution

Range Description

This species is endemic to Indonesia, where it is found only on Sulawesi and Buton Island off the southeast coast, with no records of either species of Anoas from other small neighbouring islands adjacent to Sulawesi (Burton et al. 2005). This species has been typically recorded from 1,000 to 2,300 m, but can be found at near sea level (National Research Council 1983, Sugiharta 1994, G. Semiadi pers. comm. 2006). It remains uncertain whether the two putative species, Bubalus depressicornis and Bubalus quarlesi, are sympatric or parapatric in their distribution (Burton et al. 2005). Across the island, local distribution of anoa species remains unclear, as they may occur in forest patches at different altitudes or sympatrically (Burton et al. 2005). Records of skulls and morphological descriptions of this species recently could only confirm that it was present across most of the Central region of Sulawesi and in the north of Buton Island (Burton et al. 2005). However, slightly earlier reports suggest the Mountain Anoa also occurs in the north peninsular and part way along the southeastern peninsular (Groves 1969). Both of these areas still sustain anoa populations, so these may include populations of Mountain Anoa. Identifying Mountain Anoa, and therefore their range, is made difficult by the fact that they cannot be differentiated from young Lowland Anoa. Historically, anoas of one species or other were present throughout the majority of the island’s forests (Weber 1890, Sarasin and Sarasin 1901, Mohr 1921, Harper 1945, Groves 1969, Burton et al. 2005).
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Geographic Range

Mountain anoa are found on the island Sulawesi, which is a province of Indonesia. Sulawesi contains 1,533,698 ha land, and is found between 0º30"and 4º3" North Latitude and 121º127" East Longitude. The mountain anoa occupies the mountainous areas of the island, with a range in elevation from 500 to 1000 m. Mountain anoa are also thought to occupy the nearby island of Buton.

Biogeographic Regions: oriental (Native )

Other Geographic Terms: island endemic

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Historic Range:
Indonesia

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Range

The mountain anoa is endemic to Indonesia, being present only in the province of Sulawesi and the nearby island of Buton (1) (5).
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Physical Description

Morphology

Physical Description

Mountain anoa look like deer, but are actually water buffalo. They weigh between 150 and 300 kg. Mountain anoas have a woolly coat that is a dark brown or black in color, but changes between February and April after they molt. After molting, the wooly underfur of the animal is shed, and light spots appear on the head, neck, and limbs. The head develops white spots on each side of the cheek, while the front side of the neck develops a crescent shaped light spot. Light spots also develop right above the hooves. The fur on the neck becomes shorter, while long hairs remain on the body.

Mountain anoas also have horns. These horns are flat in the front, but become triangular from the mid-section to the ends.

Range mass: 150 to 300 kg.

Other Physical Features: endothermic ; homoiothermic; bilateral symmetry

Sexual Dimorphism: male larger; ornamentation

  • Bartikova, J., J. Dobroruka. 1910. Some external characteristics of the ountain anoa, Bublaus quarlesi. Lynx, 15: 58-62.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
There is very little is known about the ecology and life history of the Anoas (Burton et al. 2005). This species is typically found in dense forest as opposed to more open subalpine habitats, and prefers habitats with dense understory vegetation (Foead 1992, Sugiharta 1994, G. Semiadi pers. comm. 2006). Mountain Anoas typically live near abundant water sources in areas with low human activity (Sugiharta 1994), and in the past there are records at sea level. Like other wild buffalo, Anoas wallow and bathe in pools of water and/or mud. It is probable that mineral springs or licks are also required, although Anoa are reported to drink seawater, which might fulfil their mineral needs in areas without licks or springs. The species is solitary and is a browser, feeding on grasses and other vegetation (Whitten et al. 1987, Foead 1992). The typical life span in captivity is reported to be 20 to 30 years, with age at sexual maturity at 2 to 3 years old (in captivity), with typically one offspring per year (NRC 1983, Jahja 1987), though in wild conditions this may be less.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Mountain anoa are found in the undisturbed montane forest regions of Sulawesi. Since Sulawesi is based around the equator, it has both rainy and dry seasons. The rainy seasons last from November to March, and the dry seasons run from April to October. Sulawesi has both active and non-active volcanoes, which provides for very rich soil. This soil produces many agricultural crops: rice, corn, nutmeg, cocoanut, clove, vanilla, and vegetables.

Range elevation: 500 to 1000 m.

Average elevation: 500-1000 m.

Habitat Regions: terrestrial

Terrestrial Biomes: mountains

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Very little is known about the habitat preferences of the mountain anoa, since it is a shy and little-studied animal. It is known to live at altitudes of between 500 and 2000 metres (1) (4), but reports differ on preferred habitats. Some say that the mountain anoa inhabits areas of dense forest that are vegetationally diverse, whereas other report that it likes areas of relatively open forest with a high density of understory plants in the vicinity of open areas and water sources. However, reports agree that mountain anoa cannot coexist with humans, which is unusual amongst the wild cattle of southeast Asia (1) (6).
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Trophic Strategy

Food Habits

Bubalus quarlesi is herbivorous. These animals feed on plants that grow in undisturbed forests. Little information is available on what they eat, however, it is known that palms, ferns, ginger, grasses, and fruit grow in the areas in which they live.

Plant Foods: leaves; fruit

Primary Diet: herbivore (Folivore )

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Associations

Ecosystem Roles

Not a lot of information is known about ecosystem roles of mountain anoas, since they have not been studied in depth. Their close relative, the lowland anoa, feed on forest understory growth, affecting plant communities. It is likely that mountain anoas are similar in this respect.

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Predation

The only animal known to prey upon mountain anoas is Homo sapiens, which hunts the speices for its hide, meat, and horns.

Known Predators:

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Known predators

Bubalus quarlesi is prey of:
Homo sapiens

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
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Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Communication and Perception

There is not enough information on this topic. However, a few generalizations can be made based on the sort of animal mountain anoas are.

Because the species is diurnal, these animals probably have well developed vision. It is likely that they communicate in some ways with visual signals. Tactile communication is probably important, especially between mates and between a mother and her young. Scent cues are not unknown among bovids, and so there may be information transferred about individual identity through smell. These animals probably also make some vocalizations, although they have not been reported.

Perception Channels: visual ; acoustic

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Life Expectancy

Lifespan/Longevity

Little information is known about the lifespan of mountain anoa. The lowland anoa, however, lives to be 20 years in the wild, and 31 years in captivity.

Average lifespan

Status: captivity:
29.2 years.

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Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Maximum longevity: 29.2 years (captivity) Observations: One captive specimen was still alive at 29.2 years of age (Richard Weigl 2005).
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Reproduction

There is not enough information available on this topic. These animals appear to associate in male-female pairs, though, and so are probably monogamous.

Mating in mountain anoa occurs year round, with one offspring born to a female per year. Gestation is about 275 to 315 days. Although Bubalus quarlesi are usually solitary animals, they will form a herd when cows are about to give birth. Not a lot of information is known about this species, but a similar species, the lowland anoa (B. depressicornis), weans its offspring around 6 to 9 months. This species becomes sexually mature at two years.

Breeding interval: Mountain anoa breed one time per year.

Breeding season: These animals are not seasonal breeders.

Range number of offspring: 1 to 1.

Range gestation period: 9.17 to 10.5 months.

Range weaning age: 6 to 9 months.

Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female): 2 years.

Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male): 2 years.

Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; year-round breeding ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); fertilization ; viviparous

Mountain anoa form herds when a female is about to give birth. Most bovids are precocial, able to walk around after their mother shortly after birth, and the mountain anoa ia probably not an exception. As is the case for all mammals, the female provides her young with milk. She is also grooms and protects her young. Females in a similar species, lowland anoa, wean their offspring anywhere between 6 and 9 months.

The role of males in the parental care of this species has not been reported.

Parental Investment: no parental involvement; pre-fertilization (Protecting: Female); pre-hatching/birth (Provisioning: Female, Protecting: Female); pre-weaning/fledging (Provisioning: Female, Protecting: Female); pre-independence (Protecting: Female)

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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
EN
Endangered

Red List Criteria
C1+2a(i)

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2008

Assessor/s
Semiadi, G., Burton, J., Schreiber, A. & Mustari, A.H.

Reviewer/s
Burton, J. (Asian Wild Cattle Red List Authority) & Stuart, S.N. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)

Contributor/s

Justification
This species is considered Endangered because its population is estimated to be less than 2,500 mature individuals, its rate of decline is believed to be greater than 20% over two generations (14 to 18 years), and no subpopulation is believed to number more than 250 mature individuals.

History
  • 2007
    Endangered
  • 1996
    Endangered
  • 1994
    Endangered
    (Groombridge 1994)
  • 1990
    Endangered
    (IUCN 1990)
  • 1988
    Endangered
    (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1988)
  • 1986
    Endangered
    (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1986)
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Current Listing Status Summary

Status: Endangered
Date Listed: 06/02/1970
Lead Region: Foreign (Region 10) 
Where Listed: Entire


Population detail:

Population location: Entire
Listing status: E

For most current information and documents related to the conservation status and management of Bubalus quarlesi , see its USFWS Species Profile

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The current population of mountain anoa is somewhere between 3000 and 5000 animals. The population has been in decline since the early 1900's, due to habitat loss, hunting, and shooting by the military. This species does not adapt well to humans, and as the island of Sulawesi becomes more populated, the decline in mountain anoa populations is inevitable. They are listed on Appendix I of CITES and listed as Endangered by IUCN.

US Federal List: endangered

CITES: appendix i

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: endangered

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Status

The mountain anoa is classified as Endangered (EN C1 + 2a) on the IUCN Red List 2003 (1) and is listed on Appendix I of CITES (2). It is also listed as Endangered on the US Endangered Species Act (4) and is fully protected under Indonesian law (1).
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Population

Population
Too few data exist to precisely quantify the current abundance of Mountain Anoa. Nevertheless, they still appear to be distributed relatively widely within their known historical range on Sulawesi. However, there is little doubt that they have been in decline (i.e., there has been a decrease in their range and abundance) since the end of the 19th century. They have declined over the 1980 to 2000 period (ca. three generations), precipitously in some areas. The population size is unknown because there have been no island-wide surveys to estimate this, even for the largest populations. Estimating the population size is further complicated by the uncertain distribution of the two anoa species. It is thought that there are less than 2,500 mature individuals. There have been declines of this species throughout Sulawesi, especially in the southern and northeastern peninsulas, with the decline attributed to hunting for meat and habitat loss (Burton et al. 2005). Most populations are becoming rapidly fragmented, suggesting that conservation of viable populations may soon require management of metapopulations (Burton et al. 2005). It is thought no subpopulation exceeds 250 mature individuals. The current status of the species is consequently a matter for concern because even the subpopulations in large protected areas (e.g., Lore Lindu National Park) and other large forest blocks are reported to be in decline as a result of heavy hunting pressure. There are two areas where the declines have been most serious, Gorontalo and Buol Toli-Toli (G. Semiadi pers. comm. 2006). Overall, the decline rate is not well known, however, based on distribution surveys and questionnaires, the range of this species is retreating to the central parts of forested areas. The rate of population decline across their range is thought to be 20% over two generations (generation length of 7 to 9 years).

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Threats

Major Threats
The two major threats to this species are hunting, for food, and habitat degradation (Burton et al. 2005) due to agriculture, mining (gold mining) (G. Semiadi and D. Gunaryadi pers. comm. 2006). Illegal international trade in live animals or body parts is not thought to present a serious threat.
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This species is thought to have been in decline since 1900, and is known to have been declining since 1980. The major pressure on population numbers is habitat loss due to increasing agricultural land, forestry operations and deforestation for human settlement (1). Despite being protected under Indonesian law, mountain anoas are known to be shot by the military, possibly because they are thought to be aggressive when startled, and capable of harming humans. Hunting anoas for the meat, fur and horns still takes place even in protected sites such as nature reserves (1)
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
This species is listed in CITES under Appendix I, and fully protected under Indonesian law (Jahja 1987, Burton et al. 2005). Mountain Anoa occur in a number of protected areas. There are several key protected areas thought to hold significant populations of this species, including Lore Lindu National Park, Bogani Nani-Wartabone National Park, and Tanjung Peropa Nature Reserve on Sulawesi (Burton et al. 2005). There is an on-going status survey, as well as genetic and morphological research that aims to clarify the confusion that surrounds anoa systematics. A small number of Mountain Anoa are in captivity, but the breeding program has been greatly hindered by the difficulties of assigning captive anoa to appropriate taxa. The captive population has around five individuals in a Mountain Anoa breed line (J. Burton pers. comm.), although the taxonomic status of most individuals remains uncertain (Nötzold 1999).

According to Burton et al. (2005) this species requires the following conservation actions: (1) protection from hunting, (2) prevention of habitat loss at key sites, (3) complete genetic studies to better determine the taxonomy of this species, and (4) determination of the status of remaining populations. Law enforcement combined with education should be employed to reduce hunting pressure.
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Conservation

Ongoing status surveys and genetic research are intended for use in clarifying the taxonomic ranking of mountain and lowland anoas, which is necessary before captive breeding of these species can take place. Whilst the mountain anoa has been protected in Indonesia since 1931, protected areas are poorly managed and enforcement is clearly an issue, even within the military (1) (4).
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Economic Importance for Humans: Negative

The military tends to shoot these animals. The purpose for this is not known, but one hypothesis is that mountain anoas are a threat when the military is in the forest. Lowland anoas, a similar species, have been known to cause injury and death to keepers, if the zookeepers get too close to the young. Mountain anoas might also be dangerous in the wild.

Negative Impacts: injures humans

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Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

Natives to Sulawesi use mountain anoas for their hides, meat, and horns. Humans also benefit from the role mountain anoa play in keeping the forest understory under control. Mountain anoa are also important for ecotourism.

Positive Impacts: food ; body parts are source of valuable material; ecotourism

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Wikipedia

Anoa

This article refers to the animal. For the Indonesian-made military vehicle, see Anoa (armoured personnel carrier).

Anoa, also known as midget buffalo and sapiutan, are a subgenus of Bubalus comprising two species native to Indonesia: the mountain anoa (Bubalus quarlesi) and the lowland anoa (Bubalus depressicornis). Both live in undisturbed rainforest, and are essentially miniature water buffalo. They are similar in appearance to a deer, weighing 150–300 kg (330–660 lb).

Both are found on the island of Sulawesi and the nearby island of Buton in Indonesia. They apparently live singly or in pairs, rather than in herds like most cattle, except when the cows are about to give birth. One young is born per year.

Both species of anoa have been classified as endangered since the 1960s, and the population continues to decrease. Fewer than 5000 animals of each species likely remain. Reasons for their decline include hunting for hide, horns and meat by the local peoples and loss of habitat due to the advancement of settlement. Currently, hunting is the more serious factor in most areas.

Lowland anoa[edit]

Lowland anoa

The lowland anoa (Bubalus depressicornis) is a small bovid, standing barely over 90 cm (35 in) at the shoulder. They are also known as anoa de Ilanura or anoa des plaines. It is most closely allied to the larger Asiatic buffaloes, showing the same reversal of the direction of the hair on their backs. The horns are peculiar for their upright direction and comparative straightness, although they have the same triangular section as in other buffaloes. White spots are sometimes present below the eyes, and there may be white markings on the legs and back; the absence or presence of these white markings may be indicative of distinct races. The horns of the cows are very small. The nearest allies of the anoa appear to be certain extinct buffaloes, the remains of which are found in the Siwalik Hills of northern India. In habits, the animal appears to resemble the Indian buffalo. It is usually solitary, living in lowland forests and wetlands, browsing on plants and understory.

Mountain anoa[edit]

Mountain anoa (Bubalus quarlesi) are also known as anoa de montana, anoa de Quarle, anoa des montagnes, anoa pegunungan, and Quarle's anoa. Standing at 70 cm (28 in) at the shoulder, it is even smaller than the lowland anoa and the smallest of all wild cattle. They also have longer, woolier hair that moults every February to April, showing faint spots on the head, neck and limbs.[1]

AnoaLyd.jpg

References[edit]

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