DESCRIPTION: Anoa are the smallest members of the cattle family. There are two closely related species, the lowland (B. depressicornis) and the mountain (B. quarlesi). The lowland anoa stands around 1 metre at shoulder height4. Their coat is dark brown or black1, although females may be lighter in colour than males. Its horns are swept diagonally backward to help pushing through the dense, swampy forests5.
HABITAT: Lowland anoa are endemic to the Indonesian island of Sulawesi1. They are found in primary and secondary lowland forest as well as swamp and mangrove forest3. In some areas, despite their name, they are also found in mountain regions3.
FEEDING: The lowland anoa is a browser, feeding on leaves, fruits, ferns, saplings and twigs1,5. They have been reported to drink seawater, which might fulfil their need for minerals in areas without salt licks3.
BREEDING: They are mainly solitary unlike other species of wild cattle, except during the breeding season1,3. The female is pregnant for 9 – 10 months, after which a single calf is born5. The young mature at around 2-3 years3.
CONSERVATION: The lowland anoa is classed as ‘Endangered’ by the IUCN, and it is threatened in the wild by hunting and a loss of habitat due to agriculture, livestock farming and mining3. They are fully protected by Indonesian law and are also listed on Appendix I of CITES, meaning all international trade in these animals (or parts of them) is banned3.
1 Macdonald (Ed), Encyclopaedia of Mammals, Oxford University Press (2001)
2 Nowak, R. Walker’s Mammals of the World. John Hopkins University Press (1991)
3 IUCN REDLIST www.iucnredlist.org.uk
4 WAZA, VIRTUAL ZOO www.waza.org
5 ANIMAL, Dorling Kindersley Publishing, 2001
6 Ultimate Ungulate. www.ultimateungulate.com/artiodactyla