Boselaphus tragocamelus


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Boselaphus tragocamelus
Species Authority: (Pallas, 1766)
Common Name(s):
English Nilgai
French Nilgau
Spanish Nilgo

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Mallon, D.P.
Reviewer(s): Rahmani, A.R. & Mallon, D.P. (Antelope Red List Authority)
Numbers in India are estimated to exceed 100,000 and their distribution covers a large part of the subcontinent. No decline has been reported and the species adapts well to agricultural areas.
2003 Least Concern (IUCN 2003)
2003 Least Concern

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Widely distributed in India and in the lowland zone of Nepal, extending into border areas of Pakistan where it is rare. Now extinct in Bangladesh.
India; Nepal; Pakistan
Regionally extinct:
United States
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Rahmani (2001) estimated that the Indian population could exceed 100,000. Locally common to abundant in agricultural areas in the states of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat. No figures are available for Nepal. Numbers are very low in Pakistan. About 37,000 feral nilgai are established on Texas ranches.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Occur in arid areas, scrub, dry deciduous forests and agricultural areas, but avoid dense forest and deserts. They are both browsers and grazers (Rahmani 2001).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Considered an agricultural pest in parts of India and, although legally protected in India, legislation has been amended to permit hunting when crop damage becomes excessive. Hunting and habitat destruction have had an adverse effect in Pakistan and Bangladesh (Rahmani 2001).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Occur in numerous National Parks and other Protected Areas in India (particularly Gir N.P., Ranthambore N.P., Sariska N.P. and Kumbhalgarh Sanctuary), although most of the population occurs outside of protected areas (Rahmani 2001). Considered sacred by Hindus because of resemblance to the cow so rarely persecuted.

Bibliography [top]

Rahmani, A. R. 2001. India. In: D. P. Mallon and S. C. Kingswood (eds), Antelopes. Part 4: North Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Global Survey and Rgeional Action Plans, pp. 178-187. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.

Citation: Mallon, D.P. 2008. Boselaphus tragocamelus. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 31 March 2015.
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