Mountain anoa

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Mountain anoa
Mountain Anoa at Krefeld Zoo.jpg
Mountain anoa (B. quarlesi) at the Krefeld Zoo, Krefeld, Germany
CITES Appendix I (CITES) [2]
Scientific classification OOjs UI icon edit-ltr.svg
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Bovidae
Subfamily: Bovinae
Genus: Bubalus
Subgenus: Anoa
B. quarlesi
Binomial name
Bubalus quarlesi
Ouwens, 1910

Anoa quarlesi

The mountain anoa(Bubalus quarlesi) also known as Quarle's anoa, [1] is a species of buffalo endemic to Sulawesi. Its closest relative is the lowland anoa, and it is still a debate as to whether the two are the same species or not. [3] It is also related to the water buffalo, and both are classified in the genus Bubalus .



Skulls of anoa cannot be accurately identified as to species, and there is likely hybridizing and interbreeding between the mountain anoa and lowland anoa in the zoo population. It is questioned as to whether the two species were actually different due to them occurring together in many different areas, as well as some interbreeding. A study of the mtDNA of ten specimens from different localities found a high mitochondrial genetic diversity between individuals identified as one or the other species, indicating support for recognition as two species. [4]

The extinct Bubalus grovesi of southern Sulawesi appears to be a close relative of both anoa species. [5]


Standing at only 70 cm (28 in) at the shoulder, the mountain anoa is the smallest of all living wild cattle, even slightly smaller than the lowland anoa. Both species typically weigh between 150–300 kg (330–660 lb). Compared to lowland anoa, mountain anoa have longer, woolier hair that moults every year, showing faint spots on the head, neck and limbs. [6] According to the Groves (1969) the mountain anoa can be told apart from the other species by being smaller, having a round horn cross-section, thick and woolly hair, and sometimes having white marking on the face and legs. They are similar in appearance to miniature water buffalo.

Both anoa species are found on the island of Sulawesi and the nearby island of Buton in Indonesia, and live in undisturbed rainforest areas. [3] They apparently live singly or in pairs, rather than in herds like most cattle, except when the cows are about to give birth. Little is known about their life history as well. However, in captive individuals they have a life expectancy of 20–30 years. Anoa take two to three years before they reach sexual maturity and have one calf a year and have very rarely been seen to have more.

Mountain anoa Buablus quarlesi2.jpg
Mountain anoa


Both species of anoa have been classified as endangered since the 1960s and the populations continue to decrease. Fewer than 5,000 animals of each species likely remain. Reasons for their decline include hunting for hides, horns and meat by the local peoples and loss of habitat due to the advancement of settlement. Currently, hunting is the more serious factor in most areas.

The leading cause of their population decline is hunting by local villagers for meat, with habitat loss also being significant. One benefit of the lack of knowledge about the legal status of what they are doing is that villagers are open to communication with researchers on their harvests and hunting practices; where awareness of conservation issues has penetrated, villagers will lie about their activities. [3]

Logging is a large issue due to the fact that both species prefer core forested habitat that is far away from humans and the influences that come with them. By logging, humans create much more fragmented habitat and, therefore, a decrease in the area where the anoa can breed and live. This habitat fragmentation also alters the natural mixing of populations of the anoa. This may lead to a loss in genetic diversity between the two species and, over time, could also lead to their decline.

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Anoa</span> Dwarf buffalo from Sulawesi

Anoa, also known as dwarf buffalo and sapiutan, are two species of the genus Bubalus, placed within the subgenus Anoa and endemic to the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia: the mountain anoa and the lowland anoa. Both live in undisturbed rainforest and are similar in appearance to miniature water buffaloes, weighing 150–300 kg (330–660 lb).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bongo (antelope)</span> Species of mammal

The bongo is a large, mostly nocturnal, forest-dwelling antelope, native to sub-Saharan Africa. Bongos are characterised by a striking reddish-brown coat, black and white markings, white-yellow stripes and long slightly spiralled horns. It is the only tragelaphid in which both sexes have horns. Bongos have a complex social interaction and are found in African dense forest mosaics. They are the third-largest antelope in the world.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Water buffalo</span> Species of large bovid

The water buffalo, also called the domestic water buffalo or Asian water buffalo, is a large bovid originating in the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. Today, it is also found in Italy, the Balkans, Australia, North America, South America and some African countries. Two extant types of water buffalo are recognized, based on morphological and behavioural criteria: the river buffalo of the Indian subcontinent and further west to the Balkans, Egypt and Italy and the swamp buffalo, found from Assam in the west through Southeast Asia to the Yangtze valley of China in the east.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bovinae</span> Subfamily of mammals

Bovines comprise a diverse group of 10 genera of medium to large-sized ungulates, including cattle, bison, African buffalo, water buffalos, and the four-horned and spiral-horned antelopes. The evolutionary relationship between the members of the group is still debated, and their classification into loose tribes rather than formal subgroups reflects this uncertainty. General characteristics include cloven hooves and usually at least one of the sexes of a species having true horns. The largest extant bovine is the gaur.

<i>Bubalus</i> Genus of bovines

Bubalus is a genus of Asiatic bovines that was proposed by Charles Hamilton Smith in 1827. Bubalus and Syncerus form the subtribe Bubalina, the true buffaloes.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tamaraw</span> Species of buffalo

The tamaraw or Mindoro dwarf buffalo is a small buffalo belonging to the family Bovidae. It is endemic to the island of Mindoro in the Philippines, and is the only endemic Philippine bovine. It is believed, however, to have once also thrived on the larger island of Luzon. The tamaraw was originally found all over Mindoro, from sea level up to the mountains, but because of human habitation, hunting, and logging, it is now restricted to only a few remote grassy plains and is now a critically endangered species.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Feral</span> Wild-living but normally domestic animal or plant

A feral animal or plant is one that lives in the wild but is descended from domesticated individuals. As with an introduced species, the introduction of feral animals or plants to non-native regions may disrupt ecosystems and has, in some cases, contributed to extinction of indigenous species. The removal of feral species is a major focus of island restoration.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Celebes warty pig</span> Suid from Sulawesi (Sus celebensis)

The Celebes warty pig, also called Sulawesi warty pig or Sulawesi pig, is a species in the pig genus (Sus) that lives on Sulawesi in Indonesia. It survives in most habitats and can live in altitudes of up to 2,500 m (8,000 ft). It has been domesticated and introduced to a number of other islands in Indonesia.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Wild water buffalo</span> Species of mammal

The wild water buffalo, also called Asian buffalo, Asiatic buffalo and wild buffalo, is a large bovine native to the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. It has been listed as Endangered in the IUCN Red List since 1986, as the remaining population totals less than 4,000. A population decline of at least 50% over the last three generations is projected to continue. The global population has been estimated at 3,400 individuals, of which 3,100 (91%) live in India, mostly in Assam. The wild water buffalo is the most likely ancestor of the domestic water buffalo.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bovini</span> Tribe of cattle

The tribe Bovini, or wild cattle, are medium to massive bovines that are native to Eurasia, North America, and Africa. These include the enigmatic, antelope-like saola, the African and Asiatic buffalos, and a clade that consists of bison and the wild cattle of the genus Bos. Not only are they the largest members of the subfamily Bovinae, they are the largest species of their family Bovidae. The largest species is the gaur, weighing up to 1,500 kg (3,300 lb).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Siau Island tarsier</span> Species of primate

The Siau Island tarsier is a species of tarsier from the tiny volcanic island of Siau in Indonesia. The T. tumpara species is one of 14 species and 7 subspecies in the tarsier family called "Tarsiidae". They belong to the Haplorrhini suborder, known as the "dry-nosed" primates. The tarsier's eyes are so big that they do not move in its socket and they are almost as big as its brain. The name tumpara, which means tarsier in the local language of Sulawesi, was an attempt to encourage the community in preserving this biological heritage.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Antelope Island bison herd</span> Population of bison in Utah, USA

The Antelope Island bison herd is a semi–free-ranging population of American bison in Antelope Island State Park in Great Salt Lake, Utah. Bison were introduced to Antelope Island in 1893. The herd is significant because it is one of the largest and oldest publicly owned bison herds in the nation. The Antelope Island bison herd currently numbers between 550 and 700 individuals. Though the bison on Antelope Island are Prairie bison, which was the most common bison subspecies in North America, the bison have a distinct genetic heritage from many of the other bison herds in the United States and they are considered to be desirable as part of the breeding and foundation stock for other bison herds, because of their separate genetic heritage and some of the distinct genetic markers that are found in the population.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Yellowstone bison herd</span> Oldest public herd in the United States

The Yellowstone bison herd is a bison herd in Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. It is probably the oldest and largest public bison herd in the United States, estimated in 2020 to comprise 4,800 bison. The bison are American bison of the Plains bison subspecies. Yellowstone National Park may be the only location in the United States where free-ranging bison were never extirpated, since they continued to exist in the wild and were not reintroduced.

The Henry Mountains bison herd, numbering 250 to 400 American bison, is one of only four free-roaming bison herds on public lands in North America. The other three herds are the Yellowstone bison herd which was the ancestral herd for the Henry Mountains animals, the Wind Cave bison herd in South Dakota and the herd on Elk Island in Alberta, Canada.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tangkoko Batuangus Nature Reserve</span>

Tangkoko Batuangus Nature Reserve, Indonesian: Tangkoko-Batuangus Dua Saudara is a nature reserve in the northern part of Sulawesi island of Indonesia, 70 kilometres from Manado City. The reserve covers an area of 8,718 hectares, and includes three mountains: Mount Tangkoko at 1,109 metres, Mount Dua Saudara at 1,361 metres, and Mount Batuangus at 450 metres.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lowland anoa</span> Species of dwarf buffalo

The lowland anoa(Bubalus depressicornis) is a species of buffalo endemic to Sulawesi. Its closest relative is the mountain anoa, and it is still a debate as to whether the two are the same species or not. It is also related to the water buffalo, and both are classified in the genus Bubalus.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bubalina</span> Subtribe of bovines consisting of the true buffalo

Bubalina is a subtribe of wild cattle that includes the various species of true buffalo. Species include the African buffalo, the anoas, and the wild water buffalo. Buffaloes can be found naturally in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Southeast Asia, and domestic and feral populations have been introduced to Europe, the Americas, and Australia. In addition to the living species, bubalinans have an extensive fossil record where remains have been found in much of Afro-Eurasia.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sulawesi lowland rain forests</span> Ecoregion in Sulawesi, Indonesia

The Sulawesi lowland rain forests is a tropical moist forest ecoregion in Indonesia. The ecoregion includes the lowlands of Sulawesi and neighboring islands.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sulawesi montane rain forests</span> Ecoregion in Sulawesi, Indonesia

The Sulawesi montane rain forests is a tropical moist forest ecoregion in Indonesia. It includes the highlands of Sulawesi.

Bubalus grovesi is an extinct species of water buffalo that lived in southern Sulawesi during the Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene.


  1. 1 2 Burton, J.; Wheeler, P.; Mustari, A. (2016). "Bubalus quarlesi". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species . 2016: e.T3128A46364433. doi: 10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-2.RLTS.T3128A46364433.en . Retrieved 12 November 2021.
  2. "Appendices | CITES". Retrieved 2022-01-14.
  3. 1 2 3 Burton, James; Hedges, Simon; Mustari, Abdul Haris (January 2005). "The taxonomic status, distribution and conservation of the lowland anoa Bubalus depressicornis and mountain anoa Bubalus quarlesi". Mammal Review. 35 (1): 25–50. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2907.2005.00048.x . Retrieved 2021-02-27.
  4. Priyono, Dwi; Solihin, Dedy; Farajallah, Achmad; Arini, Diah (2018-11-01). "Anoa, dwarf buffalo from Sulawesi, Indonesia: Identification based on DNA barcode". Biodiversitas. 19 (6): 1985–1992. doi: 10.13057/biodiv/d190602 .
  5. van der Geer, Alexandra; Lyras, George; de Vos, John (April 27, 2021). Evolution of Island Mammals: Adaptation and Extinction of Placental Mammals on Islands. Wiley. p. 307. ISBN   9781119675747.
  6. "Mountain anoa videos, photos and facts – Bubalus quarlesi – ARKive". ARKive. Archived from the original on 2011-09-13. Retrieved 2011-10-02.