SOCIAL LIFE GREGARIOUS
The Nilgai is an antelope native to India, found south of Ganges River and the arid Eastern areas of Pakistan. 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.
This animal is a large ruminant, it can reach a height of 1.90 – 2m. The females do not have horns and they are brown, males instead have two short horns and turn dark grey when they mature. Males also have a hair tuft under the chin. Nilgai is hindi for ‘blue bull’.
Nilgai are mostly diurnal, but they do rest during a part of the day. They form multi-male, multi-female groups. Although males are not known to hold an established territory, they will defend their nearest surroundings.
The conservation status of the species as currently listed on the IUCN Red List is of Least Concern. Even though hunting and habitat destruction have had an adverse effect in Pakistan and Bangladesh, Nilgai are 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.