Hill Buffalo Breeds of Nepal:

Lime buffalo:

A Lime breed buffalo in the western hills (Photo  by Dr. D.P. Rasali)

The pure breed Lime (pronounced as limè) is believed to have originated from wild Arna (Bubalus arnii), and has been domesticated throughout the known history of Nepal. They are found more towards the higher altitude of the hills in the country. The Lime buffalo is estimated at 35% of the total indigenous buffalo population in the hills and mountains of the country as calculated from the data from Rasali (1998) and Rasali (2000).

Phenotypically, the Lime buffalo are light brown and relatively small in body size, with characteristic chevrons of gray or white hair below the jaws and around the brisket, and small sickle shaped horns curved towards the neck (Rasali 1998).They have gray coat color; gray  brown or blackish skin color,  black muzzle; grayish, brownish or whitish eye brow; grayish, brownish or whitish leg markings; whitish chevron marks around the neck and brisket (Rasali et al., 1998b). 

Data averaged for adult females (n=96) are as follows :Body weight=399.1 kg; Height at wither=115.1; Body length =126.3 cm; Girth = 168.4;face length= 44.7 cm; Fore head width= 21.5 cm; Horn base circumference=20.6 cm Horn length= 46.2 cm. (Rasali et al., 1998b). Wither Height averaged 20 cm; Ear length averaged 20 cm; Average tail length is 82 cm (Pradhan et al, 1996).


Parkote buffalo:

A Parkote breed buffalo in Palpa district in the western hills.  Other Parkote buffalo (on the background) wallowing in a village pond (Photo by Dr. D.P. Rasali)

Parkote buffalo are the typical buffalo of the mid hill and river valleys of Nepal. However, due to traditional practice of crossbreeding this breed with Lime buffalo and also due to recent crossbreeding efforts with Indian Murrah, their population in pure form is declining. Now, pure breed population is estimated at only 25 % of the indigenous population of buffaloes in the hills and mountains in Nepal.

Phenotypically, the Parkote buffalo are dark in coat color and medium built body size, with sword-shaped horns directed laterally or towards the back of the body (Rasali, 1998; Pradhan et al., 1996).They have black coat color; black skin color; black muzzle; black eye brow; usually no leg markings; and chevron marks absent (Rasali et al., 1998).

Biometrical data averaged for adult females (n=88) as as follows :Body weight=409.9 kg; Height at wither=114.9 cm; Body length =124.7 cm; Girth = 170.5 cm; face length= 44.6 cm; Fore head width= 21.2 cm; Horn base circumference=20.9 cm; Horn length= 46 cm. (Rasali et al., 1998). 


Pradhan, S.L., Sherchand, L. and Shrestha, N.P. 1996. Policy and strategy for conservation of animal genetic resources in Nepal. Department of Livestock Services, Lalitpur, Nepal. 

Rasali, D.P. 1998. Present status of indigenous buffalo genetic resources in the western hills of Nepal. Proceedings of the 4th Global Conference on Conservation of Domestic Animal Genetic Resources. Rare Breeds International. p. 168-170.

Rasali, D.P. 2000. Recent trends in buffalo production in Nepal- a review. Buffalo Newsletter. The FAO Inter-Regional Cooperative Research Network on Buffalo, Europe-Near East. No. 14, pp-6-10.

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