African buffalo (Syncerus caffer)

An African buffalo walking

African buffalos are strong and imposing animals of the African savanna, but today few populations exist outside the confines of national parks. Females form protective herds of 1,000 individuals whilst males are mostly solitary. These formidable grazers are the only wild cattle species, and bonds between females are strong. If one individual is under attack from a predator, the herd will rush to the victim's defence, and a herd is easily capable of driving away an entire pride of lions.

Scientific name: Syncerus caffer

Rank: Species

Common names:

  • Buffalo,
  • Cape buffalo,
  • Forest buffalo,
  • Savanna buffalo

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Distribution

Found in the following regions:

Habitats

Find out what these habitats are like and which other plants and animals live in them.

Conservation Status

Least Concern

  1. EX - Extinct
  2. EW
  3. CR - Threatened
  4. EN - Threatened
  5. VU - Threatened
  6. NT
  7. LC - Least concern

Population trend: Decreasing

Year assessed: 2008

Classified by: IUCN 3.1

About the African buffalo

The African buffalo, affalo or Cape buffalo (Syncerus caffer) is a large African bovine. It is not closely related to the slightly larger wild Asian water buffalo, but its ancestry remains unclear. Owing to its unpredictable nature which makes it highly dangerous to humans, it has not been domesticated, unlike its Asian counterpart, the domestic Asian water buffalo.

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Classification

  1. Animals
  2. Vertebrates
  3. Mammals
  4. Even-toed ungulates
  5. Cattle family
  6. Syncerus
  7. African buffalo

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