Bos javanicus. The IUCN Red List of… (PDF Download Available)

bantingdiet, wiightloss


) are apparently a fa

voured food source (Hoogerw

erf 1970). Lists of food plants are provided

by Wharton (1957), Hoogerwerf (1970), Halder (1976), Sumardja and Kart

awinata (1977), Djaja


(1982), Alikodra (1983), Pr

ayurasiddhi and Smith (1993), and Hedges (in prep.). How


, very little is

known about the Banteng’s nutritional requir

ements, seasonal and annual variation in their dietary

preferences, or the c

omposition and quality of their diet. Hoogerwerf was of the opinion that Banteng

were largely dependent on gr

asses and sedges and, with reference t

o Ujung Kulon in West Ja

va, he

stated that ‘there w

ere no proofs that brow

se formed a substantial part of the diet.

’ However

, Schenkel

and Schenkel-Hulliger (1969) reported tha

t Banteng and deer in Ujung Kulon are for

ced to travel widely

in the dry season and ‘feed on bamboo, young palm leav

es, bush, and saplings as well.

’ And the

stomachs of a number of bulls which were shot in the South Tjiandur region of Ja

va were almost

completely full of non-graminaceous species. In Pananjung-P

angandaran Reserve in W

est Java Banteng

were observed to graz

e on a variety of plants but appeared to pre

fer the grasses

Ischaemum muticum


Axonopus compressus


Paspalum conjugatum

, and

Cynodon dactylon

; and a woody f

orest shrub

,i>Psychotria malay

ana. Grazing intensity was lower in the f

orest than in the open fields where it was

inversely proportional t

o the amount of

Eupatorium odoratum


Imperata cylindrical

although they

did eat these species (Sumardja and Kartawinat

a 1977).

When undisturbed, Banteng displays a mor

e or less fixed diurnal pattern of beha

viour with periods

(usually two to three hours long) of f

eeding alternating with rest periods of a similar length during which

the animals ruminate. In areas which are subject to fr

equent human disturbance it becomes rather

nocturnal and generally enters open ar

eas only at night, although in especially attractiv

e localities it will

tolerate human presence t

o a certain extent (Halder 1976). In undisturbed areas Ban

tengs ‘do not


e much in their activities between day and night, but…really larg

e assemblages on open

plains occur almost exclusively by da


…This r

ound the clock activity (which is, however

, interrupted

countless times to rest and/

or ruminate) may not be regar

ded as abnormal’ (Hoogerwerf 1970: 211-


The basic social group appears to be female–juv

enile unit (as in the other large Asian Bovini) with larger

groups tending to be more-or

-less temporary assemblages. Maternal her

ds containing several adult

cows, juveniles, and calves occur; these group

s can often contain one or more subadult and adult males.

Groups of cows without calves ar

e also seen. For much of the year (adult) Bantengs are larg

ely sexually

segregated and all-male group

s are frequently encounter

ed at this time. Solitary animals tend to be

mature bulls or sometimes old cows. The composition of small gr

oups of cows with calves or juveniles,

and the solitary state of old individuals ma

y remain the same for months or even year

s. The composition

of other small groups, particularly the unisex groups, usually v

aries from day to day

. During the mating

season the male groups disband and dominant males compete f

or access to receptive females

(Hoogerwerf 1970; Halder 1976; S. Hedges unpubl. data 1991-2002).

In open areas large herds of more than 100 animals ha

ve been reported but these herds appear to be

temporary associations formed when smaller gr

oups and solitary animals arrive in an area to feed and

the animals tend to reform in

to smaller groups when they leave the f

eeding areas. The composition of

these groups often varies on a daily basis although there ma

y be a stable nucleus of animals which

returns to the same clearing day after da


. The large herds may hav

e an established dominance

hierarchy but it seems to v

ary depending on the habitat. In more densely vegeta

ted areas solitary

animals or small groups, generally with f

ewer than eight animals, are more typical (Halder 1973, 1976; S.

Hedges unpubl. data 1991–2002).

© The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: Bos javanicus – published in 2008.


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