DESCRIPTION: The forest or Congo buffalo grows to 130cm (4¼ foot) at the shoulder and can weigh up to 320kg6. They are usually red to red-brown in colour, with males being darker than females. The horns of the forest buffalo are much shorter than their savannah cousin, growing to only 30-40cm (12-16 inches) in length6.
HABITAT: The forest sub-species is found in fairly high numbers in open grassy areas within equatorial forests, but also in smaller numbers in dense forest3. There are estimated to be around 60,000 forest buffalo in Africa3 mainly found in West & Central African forests.
FEEDING: Dwarf forest buffalo are herbivores, feeding on grasses and leaves2.
BREEDING: Forest buffalo are found in groups of between 8 – 20 animals, with males living alone or in bachelor groups2. Females are pregnant for around 11 months and a single young is born. Calves are weaned at around 6 months of age6.
CONSERVATION: Although their numbers are believed to be decreasing, the forest buffalo is not classed as endangered. Around 75% of the total population is believed to occur in protected areas; however habitat loss and bush-meat hunting may still be threatening the forest buffalo3.
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