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Brief Summary

    Kouprey (Bos sauveli)
    provided by EOL authors

    The kouprey, kouproh, forest bull or grey ox is a wild, forest-dwelling ox, which may exist in protected areas in eastern and northern Cambodia (Lomphat Wildlife Sanctuary, Phnom Prich Wildlife Sanctuary, Mondulkiri Protection Forest and/or Siema Biodiversity Conservation Area) (17). It ha also lived in southern Laos, western Vietnam and southeast and eastern Thailand (16). Fossil evidence indicates that it was once present in central China (12). It lives in low, partially forested hills and prefers open deciduous dipterocarp forests, especially those areas with extensive grasslands, often near thick monsoon forests (17,18). It seems to use patches of mixed deciduous and semi-evergreen forest. Most of its range lies in a highly seasonal area receiving less than 2,000 mm of precipitation per annum. The presence of pools and mineral licks is important in areas of high rainfall (16). Some suitable kouprey has been created by natural forest disturbance and slash-and-burn agriculture. The kouprey measures 2.1-2.3 m along the head and body plus a 1 m tail. It stands 1.7-1.9 m high at the shoulder and weighs 680-910 kg [5] with unverified reports up to 1,700 kg from Vietnam are considered dubious, since they far exceed other recorded weights for the species. The kouprey has a tall, narrow body, long legs, notched nostrils, humped back and a long tail with a bushy tip. Adult males are dark brown to black, but females are more grey in colour and young are reddish with lighter coloured legs, becoming greyish-brown by 5-6 months. The lower legs are white or greyish. Males have a dewlap, a skin fold hanging from the neck (12). Their long, far-reaching horns arch forward and upward; they can reach up to 80 cm and begin to split and fray at the tips at about 3 years old (14). The horns of the female are lyre-shaped with antelope-like upward spirals and reach 40 cm.

    The kouprey is diurnal, eating in the open at night and under the forest cover by day. It is said to have become nocturnal to avoid contact with humans. It is active and digs into the ground. Males butt tree stumps, causing fraying of their horns. The kouprey lives in herds of up to 20, primarily of females and calves and usually led by a single female. h banteng. Mature males form bachelor herds, but join the herds of cows and calves in the dry season. Many herds break up and rejoin as they travel [12] and may live with herds of banteng or wild buffalo [13]. Kouprey probably to use some visual signals and body postures in communication. Scent is likely to play some role, especially in identifying mates and offspring. Bovids typically vocalize to one another. Tactile communication is probably important in competition and between a mother and her young. The kouprey usually travels up to 15 km in a night to graze on grasses, visit saltlicks and drink from waterholes. The kouprey feeds mainly on grasses, including bamboo, ploong, and koom; it also eats leaves, roots, tubers, sedges, and some browse. It spends a lot of time around salt licks and water holes. The only known predator of the kouprey is humans; kouprey have become nocturnal to avoid human predation.
    Kouprey mate in the spring; their sexual dimorphism suggests some level of polygyny. Males may compete for females and successful males are polygynous. Females show low fertility and produce one calf in winter (typically December or January) after a gestation of 8-9 months. Females leave the herd to give birth, protecting the new-born calf amongst dense vegetation until it is about a month old when they return to the herd (12). The female provides the bulk of parental care, producing milk for the young, grooming it, and protecting it from danger. Male parental care has not been noted. Kouprey have a lifespan of about 20 years. Lifespan is limited by hunting, inbreeding, and disease.
    The kouprey is believed to be a close relative to the aurochs and gaur. Some scientists compared mitochondrial sequences and suggedted the kouprey might be a hybrid between a zebu and a banteng [9], but later rescinded their conclusion [10] when a fossilized skull was found dating from the late Pleistocene or early Holocene. More recent genetic analysis has supported this position [11].

    There are fewer than 250 mature kouprey left in the world, perhaps below 50 with some speculation that they are extinct. The population is estimated to have fallen over 80% in the last 30 years. When the Khmer Rouge fell in Cambodia, markets for bushmeat and trophies surged, resulting in intense pressure on large mammals.The low numbers are attributed to uncontrolled hunting by locals and soldiers for meat, horns, gall bladders and skulls for use in traditional Chinese medicine (6,16), along with diseases introduced from cattle and other livestock and loss of habitat due to agriculture and logging activity. Kouprey may compete with banteng and water buffalo for food. Prince Sihanouk designated the kouprey as the national animal of Cambodia in the 1960s, partly due to its mystique (5). No kouprey have been sighted since 1988 [6], but tracks have been seen some horns have been found in markets (6,14). The 2008 IUCN report lists the kouprey as critically endangered (possibly extinct) [7,16]. It is listed on Appendix I of CITES (19), on Appendix I of the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS or Bonn Convention) (20) and is legally protected in all range states. If the species is still extant it is most likely to be in eastern Cambodia in one of four protected areas There are no kouprey in captivity. There are suggestions that domesticated kouprey may survive in Cambodia (2), but this seems very unlikely, although domestic oxen in Cambodia may carry kouprey genes (2). Kouprey are thought to be very genetically diverse and immune to certain pests that plague domestic cattle in this region. Cross-breeding between kouprey and domestic cattle could potentially reduce disease. There is no captive population. The only individual in a western zoo was sent to the Vincennes Zoo, Paris in 1937; it was designated as the holotype by Urbain and died early in World War II [3,6,8]. The kouprey had been discovered in 1929, when an American man and his son shot and killed an unidentified ungulate to use as tiger bait. The bones were sent to the University of Kansas Museum of Natural History, but were not examined until 1982 (4). Pfeffer took the only reasonable photograph of a wild kouprey (9,13,15). The only significant scientific observation of the kouprey was made in 1957 when zoologist Charles Wharton studied and filmed the animal in the wild (1). By 1970 it was thought to be extinct following continued hunting for meat, horns and skulls(6,16); land mines along the borders of Cambodia may be responsible for kouprey deaths and hinder conservation efforts (16).

    Kouprey: Brief Summary
    provided by wikipedia
    A little-known, forest-dwelling, wild bovine species from Southeast Asia

    The kouprey (Bos sauveli, from Khmer: គោព្រៃ, Khmer pronunciation: [koː prɨj], "forest ox"; also known as kouproh, "grey ox"), is a little-known, forest-dwelling, wild bovine species from Southeast Asia. A young male was sent to the Vincennes Zoo in 1937 where it was described by the French zoologist Achille Urbain and was declared the holotype. The kouprey has a tall, narrow body, long legs, a humped back and long horns.

    Kouprey form small herds led by a female, and graze on grasses, feeding in the forest during the day and in the open at night. They are affected by degradation of their habitat and are hunted for their meat, horns and skull.

    There are thought to be few, if any, kouprey left in existence. The last confirmed sighting was in 1983. Since then, surveys have been done to try to locate the species but all have failed. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has rated the species as "critically endangered", but it may already be extinct.

Comprehensive Description

    Kouprey
    provided by wikipedia
    A little-known, forest-dwelling, wild bovine species from Southeast Asia

    The kouprey (Bos sauveli, from Khmer: គោព្រៃ, Khmer pronunciation: [koː prɨj], "forest ox"; also known as kouproh, "grey ox"), is a little-known, forest-dwelling, wild bovine species from Southeast Asia. A young male was sent to the Vincennes Zoo in 1937 where it was described by the French zoologist Achille Urbain and was declared the holotype. The kouprey has a tall, narrow body, long legs, a humped back and long horns.

    Kouprey form small herds led by a female, and graze on grasses, feeding in the forest during the day and in the open at night. They are affected by degradation of their habitat and are hunted for their meat, horns and skull.

    There are thought to be few, if any, kouprey left in existence. The last confirmed sighting was in 1983. Since then, surveys have been done to try to locate the species but all have failed. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has rated the species as "critically endangered", but it may already be extinct.

    Description

    The kouprey is believed to be a close relative of the aurochs, gaur, and banteng. A very large ungulate, the kouprey can approach similar sizes to the wild Asian water buffalo. These bovids measure 2.1 to 2.3 m (6.9 to 7.5 ft) along the head and body, not counting a 1 m (3.3 ft) tail, and stand 1.7–1.9 m (5.6–6.2 ft) high at the shoulder. Their weight is reportedly from 680 to 910 kg (1,500 to 2,010 lb).[3][4] Unverified reports of a body mass up to 1,700 kg (3,700 lb) from Vietnam are considered dubious, since they far exceed other recorded weights for the species.

    Kouprey have tall, narrow, bodies, long legs and humped backs. They can be grey, dark brown or black. The horns of the female are lyre-shaped with antelope-like upward spirals. The horns of the male are wide and arch forward and upward; they begin to fray at the tips at about three years of age. Both sexes have notched nostrils and long tails.

    Habitat and distribution

    Historical distribution of this species included Cambodia, southern Laos, southeast Thailand, and western Vietnam. They are thought to be extinct in all areas outside of Cambodia. If still extant, it likely exists in Lomphat Wildlife Sanctuary, Phnom Prich Wildlife Sanctuary, Mondulkiri Protected Forest, and/or Seima Biodiversity Conservation Area.[1]

    Kouprey live in low, partially forested hills, where they eat mainly grasses. Their preferred habitat is open forest and savannas often near thick monsoon forests. They are diurnal, eating in the open at night and under the forest cover during the day. They usually travel up to 15 km in a night.

    They live in herds of up to 20 and are usually led by a single female. These herds generally consist of cows and calves, but have bulls during the dry season. Older males form bachelor herds. Many herds are known to break up and rejoin as they travel and have been found to be mixed in with herds of banteng or wild buffalo.

    Diet

    The Kouprey graze on grasses, including bamboo, ploong, and koom. They also spend a lot of time around salt licks and water holes.

    Status

    There are estimated to be fewer than 250 kouprey left in the world. There is some speculation on whether or not they are already extinct.

    These low numbers are attributed to uncontrolled hunting by locals and soldiers for meat, horns and skulls for use in traditional Chinese medicine, in conjunction with diseases introduced from cattle and loss of habitat due to agriculture and logging activity.

    Ongoing conservation efforts

    Kouprey are legally protected in all range states and may be present in some protected areas. Prince Sihanouk designated it as the national animal of Cambodia in the 1960s, partly due to its mystique. In 1988 an International Workshop on Kouprey Conservation was held in the University of Hanoi. This workshop worked towards the responsible government agencies and interested donors to agree upon a workable and realistic action plan to save the kouprey.

    The 2008 IUCN report lists the kouprey as critically endangered (possibly extinct).[5]

    Large mammal surveys continue to take place in Cambodia, hoping to rediscover living kouprey. Other surveys have been taking place in the kouprey's historical range as recently as 2011. These surveys were done to determine the regions in their range with the highest probability of the kouprey's persistence. This is based on the habitat type and survey effort to date. During the last decade, several searches for the animal have proven fruitless.[6] No kouprey have been sighted since 1983.

    There is no captive population. The only individual in a western zoo was sent to the Vincennes Zoo at Paris in 1937; that was the individual designated as the holotype by Urbain.[7] It died early in World War II.[8]

    Relation to other species

    Research published by Northwestern University in London's Journal of Zoology indicated a comparison of mitochondrial sequences showed the kouprey might be a hybrid between a zebu and a banteng.[9] However, the authors of this study rescinded their conclusion.[10] Because a fossilized skull was found dating from the late Pleistocene or early Holocene epoch, they concluded the kouprey is not a hybrid. More recent genetic analysis has supported this position.[11]

    References

    1. ^ a b Timmins, R.J.; Hedges, S. & Duckworth., J.W. (2008). "Bos sauveli". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2008. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 29 March 2009..mw-parser-output cite.citation{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output q{quotes:"""""'"'"}.mw-parser-output code.cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:inherit;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-free a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/65/Lock-green.svg/9px-Lock-green.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-registration a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d6/Lock-gray-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-gray-alt-2.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-subscription a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/aa/Lock-red-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-red-alt-2.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration{color:#555}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration,.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right{padding-right:0.2em} Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is critically endangered.
    2. ^ a b Grigson, C.: "Complex Cattle", New Scientist, August 4, 1988; p. 93f. URL retrieved 2011-01-27.
    3. ^ [1] (2011).
    4. ^ Burnie D and Wilson DE (Eds.), Animal: The Definitive Visual Guide to the World's Wildlife. DK Adult (2005), ISBN 0789477645
    5. ^ http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/details/full/2890/0 Timmins, R.J., Hedges, S. & Duckworth., J.W. 2008. Bos sauveli. In: IUCN 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 11 March 2009
    6. ^ "Search for the kouprey: trail runs cold for Cambodia's national animal". Phnom Penh Post, April 2006.
    7. ^ Urbain, A.: "Le kou-prey ou bœuf gris cambodgien", Bulletin de la Société Zoologique de France 62 (5), 1937, pp. 305–307.
    8. ^ Hoffmann, R. S.: "A new locality record for the kouprey from Viet Nam, and an archaeological record from China", Mammalia 50 (3), pp. 391–395.
    9. ^ Northwestern biologists demote Southeast Asia's 'forest ox'
    10. ^ G. J. Galbreath, J. C. Mordacq, F. H. Weiler (2007) 'An evolutionary conundrum involving kouprey and banteng: A response from Galbreath, Mordacq and Weiler.' Journal of Zoology 271 (3), 253–254. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7998.2007.00317.x
    11. ^ Cambodia's National Animal Is "Real," Study Says
    • Alexandre Hassanin, and Anne Ropiquet, 2007. Resolving a zoological mystery: the kouprey is a real species, Proc. R. Soc. B, doi:10.1098/rspb.2007.0830
    • G. J. Galbreath, J. C. Mordacq, F. H. Weiler, 2006. Genetically solving a zoological mystery: was the kouprey (Bos sauveli) a feral hybrid? Journal of Zoology 270 (4): 561–564.
    • Hassanin, A., and Ropiquet, A. 2004. Molecular phylogeny of the tribe Bovini (Bovidae, Bovinae) and the taxonomic status of the kouprey, Bos sauveli Urbain 1937. Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 33(3):896-907.
    • Steve Hendrix: Quest for the Kouprey, International Wildlife Magazine, 25 (5) 1995, p. 20-23.
    • J.R. McKinnon/S.N. Stuart: The Kouprey - An action plan for its conservation. Gland, Switzerland 1989.
    • Steve Hendrix: The ultimate nowhere. Trekking through the Cambodian outback in search of the Kouprey, Chicago Tribune - 19 December 1999.
    • MacKinnon, J.R., S. N. Stuart. "The Kouprey: An Action Plan for its Conservation. "Hanoi University. 15 Jan. 1988. Web 13 Last Kouprey: Final Project to the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund for Grant Number GA 10/0.8" Global Wildlife Conservation. Austin, TX, 25 Apr. 2011. Web 13 Nov. 2013.

    Lifespan, longevity, and ageing
    provided by AnAge articles
    Observations: These animals have a lifespan of about 20 years, but their maximum longevity could be higher and further studies are warranted.

Distribution

    Distribution
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    Kouprey, Bos sauveli, once ranged from Kampuchea to the Dongrak Mountains of eastern Thailand, southern Laos, and western Vietnam. They are currently considered likely to be extinct, with the only possible individuals surviving in small portions of eastern Cambodia, where there are some poorly protected regions.

    Biogeographic Regions: oriental (Native )

Morphology

    Morphology
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    An adult kouprey ranges in shoulder height from 170 to 190 cm. The head and body length measurements range from 210 to 223 cm. The tail reaches a length of 100 cm and the average adult weighs between 680 and 910Kg. Bulls have a dewlap (skin fold that hangs from the neck) which distinguishes this species from other wild cattle, and horns that split and fray at the tips at around three years of age. The horns of males can reach up to 80 cm in length. Female kouprey also have horns, about half the length of male's horns, but theirs spiral upwards. Both males and females have notched nostrils. Kouprey young are reddish in color, but become more gray by five to six months of age. The young have lighter colored legs. Adult males are dark brown or black.

    Range mass: 681 to 910 kg.

    Range length: 223 to 210 cm.

    Sexual Dimorphism: male larger; sexes shaped differently; ornamentation

    Other Physical Features: endothermic ; bilateral symmetry

Habitat

    Habitat
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    Kouprey are found in open forest and savannas, often near thick monsoon forests. This kind of habitat is created by natural forest disturbance and slash-and-burn agriculture.

    Habitat Regions: tropical ; terrestrial

    Terrestrial Biomes: savanna or grassland ; forest

    Other Habitat Features: agricultural

Trophic Strategy

    Trophic Strategy
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    Kouprey graze on grasses, including bamboo (Arundinella species), ploong (Arundinella setosa) and koom (Chloris species). They frequent salt licks and water holes.

    Plant Foods: leaves; roots and tubers

    Primary Diet: herbivore (Folivore )

Associations

    Associations
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    Kouprey provide food for humans who share their range. They share ranges with banteng (Bos javanicus) and water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis), there may be some competition for food between these species.

    Associations
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    The only known predator of the kouprey is humans. Kouprey have adapted a nocturnal behavior to avoid human predation.

    Known Predators:

    • humans (Homo sapiens)

Behavior

    Behavior
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    There is little known regarding kouprey communication. However, as mammals, they are likely to use some visual signals and body postures in communication. Scent is likely to play some role, especially in identifying mates and offspring. Bovids typically vocalize to one another. Tactile communication is probably important in competition and between a mother and her offspring.

    Communication Channels: visual ; tactile ; acoustic

    Perception Channels: visual ; tactile ; acoustic ; chemical

Life Expectancy

    Life Expectancy
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    Kouprey have a lifespan of about 20 years. Lifespan is limited by hunting, inbreeding, and disease.

    Average lifespan
    Status: wild:
    20 years.

Reproduction

    Reproduction
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    There is little information available on mating systems in kouprey. Their sexual dimorphism suggests some level of polygyny. In other bovids, males often compete for females and successful males are polygynous. It is likely that this species is similar.

    Kouprey mate in the spring and calve in the winter (typically December or January). Female kouprey have marked low fertility. The mother leaves the herd to give birth, and returns about a month after giving birth to a single young. The gestation period is 8 to 9 months.

    Breeding interval: These animals are thought to breed annually.

    Breeding season: Mating occurs in the spring.

    Range number of offspring: 1 (low) .

    Average number of offspring: 1.

    Range gestation period: 8 to 9 months.

    Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; seasonal breeding ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual ; viviparous

    Average number of offspring: 1.

    There is little data on the parental care habits of kouprey. As in other mammals, the female provides the bulk of parental care, producing milk for the young, grooming it, and protecting it from danger. Male parental care has not been noted.

    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)

Conservation Status

    Conservation Status
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    Kouprey are likely to be extinct. Recent survey efforts have been unsuccessful finding live kouprey, although some horns have been found in markets. High levels of hunting in the last 30 years resulted in at least an 80% decline in population numbers. If any kouprey remain, there are most likely to be less than 50 mature individuals. Given these very small numbers and no abatement to intense hunting and poaching pressure, kouprey are in dire danger or imminent extinction. The IUCN redlist considers then Critically Endangered, possibly extinct. With the fall of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, markets for bushmeat and trophies surged, resulting in intense pressure on all large mammals in the region. If any individuals remain, they are likely to be in small portions of eastern Cambodia, where there are some protected areas. There are no individuals in captivity.

    US Federal List: endangered

    CITES: appendix i

    IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: critically endangered

Benefits

    Benefits
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    There are no known adverse affects of kouprey on humans.

    Benefits
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    Kouprey have been used as food, although they are protected by CITES Appendix I. Kouprey are also thought to be very genetically diverse and immune to certain pests that plague domestic cattle in this region. Cross-breeding between kouprey and domestic cattle could potentially reduce disease. Kouprey horn and gall bladder is considered useful in traditional medicine, but there are no documented benefits of kouprey parts for humans.

    Positive Impacts: food ; body parts are source of valuable material; source of medicine or drug ; research and education

Other Articles

    Untitled
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    There is fossil evidence that kouprey once resided in central China. In 1964, Prince Sihanouk of Cambodia declared the kouprey to be the national animal. It is interesting to note the struggle that has been going on to obtain information on this elusive animal. Many search parties have been formed only to come back empty handed, and with rarely even a photograph. The fear that kouprey may have gone extinct is diminished by the finding of horns in markets, the occasional discovery of sign by researchers, and the sightings by locals. There has been only one captive animal (caught by mistake), the original specimen of Bos sauveli. This animal unfortunately died during World War I of starvation.