Thursday, August 2, 2012

Malayan Gaur - the 2nd largest terrestrial mammal in Malaysia

The Malayan Gaur, locally known as “Seladang Malaya”, is the 2nd largest terrestrial mammal in Malaysia, after the elephant. It belongs to the family Bovidae in the Order Artiodactyla.

                                       Gaur- a totally protected animal
 According to Department of Wildlife and National Parks Peninsular Malaysia, the Gaur is classified as a totally protected animal under the Protection of Wild Life Act 76/72 Schedule, poaching conviction carry the maximum fine of RM5, 000 or a term of imprisonment not exceeding 3 years or both.

The global estimate is 13000 to 30000 in 2000 with 5200 to 18000 mature individual. The overall population is declining.  The subspecies “Bos Gaurus Hubbacki” is found only in Peninsular Malaysia and Thailand.

                                                         Gaur - can see but can not touch

As part of Gaur conservation efforts, Jenderak Selatan Wildlife Conservation Centre was established in 1980 and the captive Breeding Programme began in 1982. The 20 hectares Jenderak Selatan is the only centre in Peninsular Malaysia solely delicate for Gaur captive breeding.

                                                Wildlife Conservation Centre
Gaur inhabits relatively undisturbed lowland tropical rainforests depending on the availability of water, salt licks and food abundance. It depends on water for drinking purposes only as it does not wallow. Its diet includes fresh grasses, bamboo shoots, herbs, young sprouts of bushes and shrubs.
                                                                Gaur over 1000 kg?

The Gaur are easily recognized by their dark brown coat, a hump between the shoulders and white “stocking” on all four legs. Newborn calves are yellowish brown in coloration at the age of 3 months. They can grow to as tall as 1.9m at shoulder height and the average length from the nose to the tip of the tail is about 4m. The male can weigh up to 1000 kg, whereas the female weights between 500 to 700 kg.

A gaur becomes sexually matured at about 2.3 to 2.4 years. In the wild, breeding takes place throughout the year, though there is a peak between December and June. During mating, the male will emit a distance mating call that can be heard almost 1.5 km.

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