The Lowland anoa is a small bovid found in Southeast Asia. These animals have thick, black skin covered with short, dark brown hair. Males are usually darker in color than females. White spots are sometimes present below the eyes and there may be white markings on the legs and back. Both males and females have horns that are short, triangular and are flattened closer to the top.
Lowland anoas are native to the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia. They live in lowland moist forests and wetlands. Anoas prefer to stay in core forested habitat away from humans.
Lowland anoas are usually solitary. They are active in the morning and afternoon and prefer to rest in shade during hot parts of the day. Like other wild buffalo, anoas like to wallow in mud and water. They usually move by walking but when fleeing, they can make clumsy leaps. When anoas feel any danger or are approached too close, they will turn and attack violently. These animals are known to be very dangerous especially young bulls during the breeding season, and females with young.
Lowland anoas are herbivorous animals. Their diet consists of grasses, aquatic plants, ferns, fallen fruit, palm, and ginger. They also may drink sea water which fulfills their mineral needs in areas without licks or spring water.
Little is known about the mating system in Lowland anoas. These animals breed year-round. Females give birth to a single calf. The gestation period lasts around 9-10 months. Calves are weaned between 6 and 9 months of age and become reproductively mature when they are 2-3 years old.
Main threats to Lowland anoa include hunting for food and the loss of the habitat through logging activities and clearing of forested areas for agriculture. Gold mining and other activities that are related to the collection of non-timber forest products also pose a serious threat to these animals.
According to the IUCN Red List, the total population size of Lowland anoas is less than 2,500 mature individuals. This species’ numbers are decreasing and it is currently classified as Endangered (EN) on the IUCN Red List.
Due to their diet, Lowland anoas play a very important role in their ecosystem as they control the growth of the forest understory.