IUCN Red List status:


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Animal vulnerability index Animal vulnerability index

Anoa are HERBIVORES and the smallest species of wild cattle found only on the Indonesian islands of Sulawesi and Buton. Very little is known about these magnificent mammals as the species is solitary, secret, silent and they live alone or in pairs, rather than in herds.

Staying silent and solitary is safer in the forest, as being part of a herd is more likely to attract attention. Anoa are almost never seen in the forest which makes studying their behaviour in the wild difficult, as they’re almost impossible to see! As soon as someone steps foot into the forest, an animal – usually a bird – gives out an alarm call, and the anoa is alerted.

The anoa has been called the ‘demon of the forest’ as it is rumoured that they come out of the forest at night like demons and use their horns to puncture cattle. They are hunted for their desirable meat which is sold at local markets. The meat is described as fiery or hot and men believe eating the meat of this powerful, horned animal will give them prowess.

Presently, the wild population of the anoa is down to around 2,500. The population has declined significantly as a result of hunting and habitat loss. Their favoured habitat of lowland forest is often cleared for rice paddies.

Male anoa have larger horns than females at around 30cm long!

We’re a main partner of the Global Species Management Plan (GSMP) for anoa to help protect the species. 

We work with zoos and other conservation organisations around the world to create a global plan to protect anoa both in zoos and in the wild.

We’re also heavily involved with the AWCSG of the IUCN. We co-fund their Chair and Programme Officer who help protect threatened Asian wild cattle species like anoa.


Discover how we’re working to protect Asian wild cattle 

NOW is the time to ACT FOR WILDLIFE. Conservation is CRITICAL; species are under threat. TOGETHER we can make a BIG difference. Take action TODAY and join us in PREVENTING EXTINCTION.