Scientific name : Bos grunniens (Linnaeus)
Order : Artiodactyla
Family : Bovidae
IWPA - Schedule I. CITES - Appendix I.
Red Data Book (India) - Critical. Red Data Book (International) - Vulnerable .
IUCN - Endangered (Nationally),Data Deficient (Globally). U.S.ESA - Endangered.
Common Names : English - Yak
Hindi - Banchour
Ladakhi - Yak
Group : Oxen
Measurements : Head and Body -2000 to 3250 mm.
Tail - 700 to 1000 mm.
Height at shoulder - 1500 to 2050 mm.
Body Weight : 325 to 600 kg.
Head : Drooping , elongated head ; forehead nearly flat. Muzzle and ear small.No dewlap.Colour black, with a little white about the muzzle , and a sprinking of grey at top.Hairs curly on forehead .
Horns : Smooth, round, spreading horizontally outward, then curving upward and forward, while tips slightly bent backward and inward. Length goes up to 950 mm.
Hands and feet : Short and thick. Hooves large and rounded. Upper part of the limbs covered by long hairs growing from the sides of the body. Colour similar to body.
Tail : Terminal half of tail thickly covered with long blackish hairs, forming an enormous tuft, not descending in general below the hocks.
Body : Back nearly level, not falling away above the hips. Neck thick. Hairs nearly smooth and short on neck and back; very long upto 600 mm. on lower part of each side, forming a deep fringe across the shoulder and thigh.A tuft of long hairs also on breast. Colour dark brown to almost black throughout; greyish tinge on the neck of old animals.
Range : India - Changchen-mo Valley in Ladakh ( Jammu and Kashmir ) sometimes strays into Sutlej Valley and Kangri Bingi Pass in Kumaon Hills( Uttar Pradesh) and Sikkim.
Elsewhere - Tibet ,Nepal ,China
Habitat : Coldest,desolate and rugged mountain terrain, near the snow line (4000 to 6000 m.).
Threats : Disease; Genetic problem; Hybridization; Hunting.
Similar Species : Bos frontalis of India, Nepal and south-east Asian countries.