DESCRIPTION: Banteng are very similar to domestic cattle in proportions1. They weigh between 400–900kg2 and can grow up to a shoulder height of 190cm (6¼ foot). Males’ horns grow up to 75cm (30 inches) long2,5 but females’ horns are much smaller2,5. They vary in colour, with males being blue–black and females brown to red–brown, both with white stockings1,2.
HABITAT: The banteng is a forest species found in Indochina, Borneo, Java and Bali. During the monsoon season they move to the hills returning to the lowlands for the dry season1.
Banteng have been domesticated, especially in Bali, where they are called Bali cattle4. There is a feral population in Australia3.
FEEDING: Banteng eat both grasses and leaves3. In the monsoon season they also feed on tender herbs and bamboo2. In Java they have been observed eating the grasses Ischaemum muticum, Axonopus compressus, Paspalum conjugatum, and Cynodon dactylon and the shrub Psychotria malayan3.
BREEDING: The banteng is usually found in groups of 2–40 individuals, usually with just one adult bull per herd. Males are often solitary or found in bachelor groups2. Females give birth to 1 or 2 calves after a pregnancy of 9.5–10 months, and can breed every year2. Females mature at 2 years old2.
CONSERVATION: The major threats to the banteng are hunting and habitat loss, including habitat disturbance for agriculture, livestock farming, mining and road and railway construction. Domestic livestock may also pose a threat through disease transmission3.
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