Boselaphus tragocamelus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Cetartiodactyla Bovidae

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

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-06-21
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Cooke, R.
Contributor(s): Mallon, D.
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.
Previously published Red List assessments:

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. The species has been introduced to the United States of America and Mexico.
Countries occurrence:
India; Nepal; Pakistan
Regionally extinct:
Mexico; United States
Additional data:
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, with densities of 0.2-11.4 individuals/km² across India, depending on habitat conditions, predation, degree of protection, and competition with livestock (Pandey 1988, Bagchi et al. 2004). 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. Generally stable or increasing. About 37,000 feral Nilgai are established on Texas ranches and the population around the Texas-Mexico border is estimated to be around 30,000 (Cárdenas-Canales et al. 2011).
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:70000-100000Continuing decline of mature individuals:No
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:As a habitat generalist they occur in arid areas, scrub, grassy plains, dry deciduous open forests and agricultural areas, but avoid dense forest and deserts. They are both browsers and grazers (Rahmani 2001).
Generation Length (years):5.7

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The Nilgai is rarely consumed by Hindus due to its religious significance; its Hindi name menas 'blue cow'.

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 culling 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).

Errata [top]

Errata reason: This errata assessment has been created because the map was accidentally left out of the version published previously.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.5. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
suitability:Suitable season:resident major importance:No
3. Shrubland -> 3.5. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
suitability:Suitable season:resident major importance:Yes
4. Grassland -> 4.5. Grassland - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
suitability:Suitable season:resident major importance:No
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.1. Artificial/Terrestrial - Arable Land
suitability:Marginal season:resident 
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.2. Artificial/Terrestrial - Pastureland
suitability:Marginal season:resident 
3. Species management -> 3.1. Species management -> 3.1.3. Limiting population growth

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
2. Conservation Planning -> 2.2. Area-based Management Plan

Bibliography [top]

Bagchi, S., Goyal, S. P. and Sankar, K. 2004. Herbivore density and biomass in a semi-arid tropical dry deciduous forest of western India. Journal of Tropical Ecology 20(4): 475-478.

Cárdenas-Canales, E. M., Ortega-Santos, J. A., Campbell, T. A., García-Vázquez, Z., Cantú-Covarrublas, A., Figueroa-Millán, J. V., DeYoung, R. W., Hewitt, D. G. and Bryant, F. C. 2011. Nilgai Antelope in Northern Mexico as a Possible Carrier for Cattle Fever Ticks and Babesia bovis and Babesia bigemina. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 47(3): 777-779.

IUCN. 2016. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016-3. Available at: (Accessed: 07 December 2016).

IUCN. 2017. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2017-1. Available at: (Accessed: 27 April 2017).

Pandey, R. K. 1988. Habitat utilization and diurnal activity pattern in Indian wild buffalo (Bubalus bubalis Linn.) in Indravati Wildlife National Park, India: a study of habitat/animal interactions. Journal of Tropical Ecology 4: 269–280.

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

Citation: IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group. 2016. Boselaphus tragocamelus. In: (errata version published in 2017). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T2893A115064758. . Downloaded on 22 September 2018.
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