Water Buffalo, Kaziranga National Park, India (Christy Williams)
Behaviour and ecology
Little is known about wild water buffalo, but we assume that they are mainly grazers who also eat herbs, fruits, and bark1, and browse trees and shrubs. Water buffalo typically forms maternal groups of loosely structured herds, containing around 10–20, but sometimes up to 100, individuals. Adult males form bachelor herds of up to 10 individuals, and older males are generally solitary.1 They exhibit a polygynous mating system, and females typically give birth to a single offspring, though twins are possible.1 They is no preference between night and day.1
Did you know?
More than half of the world’s population depend on rice as their staple diet, and it is the domestic water buffalo that allows this rice to be cultivated and threshed with the greatest efficiency.13