Buffalo Research Abstracts:

Breed and landrace characterization:

     Rasali, D.P. 2000. Present status of indigenous buffalo genetic resources in the western hills of Nepal. Proceedings of the fourth global conference on conservation of domestic animal genetic resources (Kathmandu 17-21 August 1998). Nepal Agricultural Research Council/ Rare Breeds International, UK, pp 165-167.

 About 20% of Nepals 3.1 million water buffaloes (Bubalus bubalis) are in the Western hills and about 90% of these are of indigenous origin. The morphological characteristics of the Lime and Parkote buffaloes, and their crosses were distinct. In a study based on 206 indigenous buffaloes in 12 villages, the shapes of the horns, chevron marks and body sizes were found to vary among household, demonstrating the presence of genetic variation. The karyotype of 67 indigenous buffaloes revealed that the Lime buffaloes with 25 pairs of chromosomes are of the Riverine type. In general, the buffaloes are well cared for and mostly stall fed. The low productivity appears to be the core problem in buffalo production leading to the importation of milk, meat and live animals. The lack of adequate nutrition, and the supply of buffaloes with superior genetics and the poor health status are the underlying attributes. The milk production of the indigenous buffaloes were comparable to 25-50% Murrah cross buffaloes. The morphological characteristics and production performance of indigenous buffaloes have been summarized. The phenotypic genetic and socio-economic evaluation of the indigenous buffaloes in warranted. This will help develop plans for the conservation of buffalo genetic resources. 

    Mandal, P. and Shrestha, N.P. 2000. Conservation strategies for wild buffaloes (Arna) of Nepal.  Proceedings of the fourth global conference on conservation of domestic animal genetic resources (Kathmandu 17-21 August 1998). Nepal Agricultural Research Council/ Rare Breeds International, UK, pp. 163-164.

The Arna (Bubalus arnee) or wild buffaloes are localized in the Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve of the Eastern Terai region. There are 1,500 wild buffaloes in the world. In 1991, the population of Arna in Nepal estimated at 40-50 buffaloes appears to have declined over a number of years. This can be attributed to the degradation of the forest pasture, gazing pressure from an increased number of domesticated animals allowed to graze in and around the Reserve, indiscriminate crossing between the domesticated and the wild buffaloes that share common grazing areas, inadequate management and lack of appreciation for certain proportion of these animals many have resulted from crosses with domestic buffaloes. The rapid decline in the numbers has placed the Arna buffaloes at the risk of extinction. Conservation efforts to prevent the loss of this valuable genetic resource have been stressed.


     Pokharel, P., Kuwar, B.S., Neopane, s.P. and Shrestha, N.P.  2000. Indentification, characterization and conservation strategy for Gaddi buffalo. Proceedings of the fourth global conference on conservation of domestic animal genetic resources (Kathmandu 17-21 August 1998). Nepal Agricultural Research Council/ Rare Breeds International, UK, pp. 77- 80.

The Gaddi buffalo found in the Dadedhura, Baitadi and Doti districts of the Far-western region are good milkers that utilize the pasture land in the slopes of mid-hills and high mountains. These animals are usually found in a 5482 km2 area at an elevation of 1500-4500 m. The total number of buffaloes in the region has been estimated at 1,01,500. There are about 16,000 purebred Gaddi buffaloes and 50,000 crosses with the indigenous Lime and Parkote populations, and the Murrah breed. The Gaddi buffaloes are predominantly black in colour with a white round patch on the forehead. Occasionally, brown and light brown coloured animals are seen. These animals have a long face and flat head with long curved horns. The Gaddi buffaloes are massive with an angular shaped body and sloped hip. The morphological characteristics and production performance of the Gaddi buffaloes are similar to the indigenous Lime and Terai buffaloes. The morphological characteristics and production performance of the Gaddi buffaloes have been summarized. The number of purebred Gaddi buffaloes are gradually decreasing due to the indiscriminate use of bulls of the imported Murrah breed to increase milk production. If the process continues, the Gaddi buffalo may become extinct in the near future. Thus, an appropriate strategy for the improvement and conservation of the Gaddi buffaloes needs to be introduces.



(Also see  chromosomal aberrations in hill buffalo

  Rasali, D.P., Patel, R.K. and Joshi, H.D. 1998. Initial chromosomal analysis of indigenous buffaloes in the western hills of Nepal. Veterinary Review (Nepal), 13:30-33.

 Blood samples were collected from fourteen indigenous buffaloes of western hills of Nepal kept at Lumle Farm. They were processed for lymphocyte culture within 50 hours of collection in RPMI-1640 media supplemented with foetal calf serum, antibiotics and a mitogen at National Dairy Development Board, Biotechnology Laboratory, Anand, Gujarat, India. The cultures were harvested at 72 hours. Prepared slides were the screened under microscope. Results indicated that all the buffaloes which showed Lime type phenotypic features had karyotypes with 50 chromosomes resembling to riverine buffaloes.


Production  characteristics:

  Rasali, D.P. and Harding, A.H. 1998.  Factors affecting the lactation curves in the hill buffaloes and their Murrah crossbreds raised under farmers management in the western hills of Nepal. Nepal Ag. Res. Journal, 2:1-7. 

A milk recording study on a total of 470 milking buffaloes that calved during the monsoon of 1993 and 1995, comprising 314 indigenous hill buffaloes and 156 50-74% Murrah crossbreds raised under farmers management, was carried out in the western hills. The milk recording on individual buffalo cows was initiated from the seventh day of their calving. The lactation curves were fitted to examine the effects of genotype, management system, parity of the animal and year of recording by regression analyses carried out using Woods (1967) Gamma function for fortnightly milk recording at a total of 38 points in time during the lactation period. The length of lactation which was used as a covariate for adjusting its effect on the regression models, was significant particularly across the coefficients b and c. The regression coefficients of Woods Gamma function, a (=LogeA), b and c were 1.5393, 0.1792, and 0.05655, respectively, for local hill buffaloes, while they were 1.8514, 0.1944 and 0.05606, respectively for the Murrah crossbreds. The results indicated that genotype had the largest effect followed by parity (p<0.001) particularly on the regression coefficient `a representing the initial rising phase of the lactation curve, as shown by their high mean squares, 10.986 and 2.0849, respectively. For management, comprising stall feeding and semi-stall feeding, milk yield differences tended to become smaller with time during the lactation period. Year of milk recording was significantly important for all the three coefficients, `a (p<0.05) in the initial phase of the curve, `b and `c (p<0.001) in the latter declining phases of the curve. This work being the first report on lactation curve in indigenous buffaloes in the hills of Nepal should lay the foundation for future work to establish the lactation curves to represent many situations.

Key words: Bubalus bubalis, hills buffaloes, lactation curves, Murrah crossbreeds


  Rana, R.S., Rasali, D.P. and Khanal, R.C. 1998. Preliminary investigation of early weaning and artificial rearing of buffalo calves. Veterinary Review (Nepal), 13:34-36.  

A preliminary trial on early weaning and artificial rearing of buffalo calves was conducted at Agricultural Research Station (ARS), Lumle livestock farm, Four new born calves were allocated to each of three treatment groups of feeding and management regimes. The findings of the study showed that buffalo calves could be successfully weaned after one month of birth and reared by feeding on locally made concentrate mixture. Based on the preliminary findings obtained from this study, further in-depth investigation into its technical and socioeconomical aspects is warranted.

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