Key Facts about Indian Gaur


10:09 AM

1 min read
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After several decades, the locally extinct Indian gaur has been spotted in the Nagarjunasagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve (NSTR) in Andhra Pradesh.

About Indian Gaur:

  • The Indian Bison of Gaur is the largest and tallest in the family of wild cattle.
  • Scientific Name: Bos gaurus
  • Distribution: Gaurs are indigenous to the South and Southeast parts of Asia.
  • Habitat:
    • Gaurs are primarily the denizens of evergreen and semi-evergreen forests along with moist deciduous forests with open grasslands.
    • They prefer hilly-terrains below an altitude of 1,500-1,800 m with large and undisturbed forest tracts and abundant water.
  • Features:
    • The Indian Bison is about 240 cm to 340 cm in length, with a sole tail length of about 70 cm to 105 cm. Their height is about 170 cm to 230 cm. 
    • The adult male weighs around 600 kg to 1500 kg. and the adult female weighs about 400 kg to 1000 kg.
    • They have a convex shape on the forehead.
    • The limbs are very strong and sturdy.
    • Both males and females possess horns. The horns are pale green or yellowish brown in color and are not pointed upward but possess a slightly inward curvature.
    • They have a typically short tail.
    • The Gaur is a social animal. They generally live in group size of about 30 to 40. 
  • Conservation Status:
    • IUCN Red List: Vulnerable
    • Wild Life Protection Act, 1972: Schedule I 
    • It is listed in CITES Appendix I.

Key Facts about Nagarjunasagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve (NSTR):

  • Location: It is located in the Nallamala hill ranges (an offshoot of the Eastern Ghats) of Andhra Pradesh and spreads across the undivided districts of Guntur, Prakasam and Kurnool.
  • It attained the status of a Tiger Reserve in 1983. 
  • This is the largest tiger reserve in the country, spreading over an area of 5937 Sq. Km.
  • It is named after two major dams in the area, Nagarjuna Sagar Dam and Srisailam Dam.
  • Two wildlife Sanctuaries, namely Rajiv Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary and Gundla Brahmeswaram Wildlife Sanctuary (GBM), constitute the Tiger Reserve.
  • The river Krishna traverses through this Reserve for a linear distance of around 270 Kilometers.
  • Topography: It consists of plateau, ridges, gorges and deep valleys.
  • Vegetation: Tropical dry deciduous forests having an undergrowth of bamboo and grass.
  • Flora: The habitat has several endemics like Andrographis nallamalayana, Eriolaena lushingtonii, Crotalaria madurensis Var, Dicliptera beddomei and Premna hamiltonii.
  • Fauna:
    • Top faunal species include Tiger, Leopard, Wolf, Wild Dog and Jackal.
    • The prey species are represented by Sambar, Chital, Chowsingha, Chinkara, Mouse Deer, Wild boar and Porcupine.
    • The river Krishna has Muggers, Otters and Turtles.

Q1: What is a Tiger Reserve?

Tiger Reserve is a legally declared protected area dedicated to the conservation of striped big cats. A tiger reserve, on the other hand, could be a national park or wildlife sanctuary. The Sariska Tiger Reserve, for example, is also a national park.

Source: Gaur sighted in NSTR after decades