The wild water buffalo (Bubalus arnee), also called Asian buffalo and Asiatic buffalo, is a large bovine native to the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia. It is listed as Endangered in the IUCN Red List since 1986, as the remaining population totals less than 4, 000, with an estimate of fewer than 2, 500 mature individuals. The population decline of at least 50% over the last three generations (24–30 years) 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 represents most likely the ancestor of the domestic water buffalo.
In the wild, water buffalo spend much of their day cooling off in the muddy waters of Asia’s tropical forest. Because of their proclivity for this marshy terrain, water buffalo have wide, splayed hooves that enable them to move freely in the mud without sinking too deeply. If food is scarce, buffalo will even dive for plants growing on the beds of lakes and rivers!
Water Buffolo Labor
Water buffalo are used for plowing and other forms of labor and as a source of meat, leather and milk. They are found throughout Asia and in places like Turkey, Italy, Australia and Egypt as well. They are mostly found in places where there is a lot of rain or water because they get dehydrated very easily and need water and mud to wallow around in. The water buffalo population in the world is about 172 million, with 96 percent of them in Asia.