Feral Cattle (Bos taurus) on Kuchinoshima Island, Southwestern Japan: Their Stable Ranging and Unstable Grouping

Daiji KIMURA and Hiroshi IHOBE


The ranging and grouping of about 75 feral cattle (Bos taurus), inhabiting a small mountainous island with thick vegetation, were studied. Each individual kept a stable home range for at least one year. The cattle preferred flat and open areas (FO areas) as their ranging center, and each had 1 or 2 FO areas in its home range. Those who shared the same FO areas largely overlapped home ranges; thus a clumped pattern was seen in the home range distribution. The individuals within each clump composed a "home range overlapping group" (HROG). The cattle formed 1-8 individual-sized unstable groups mainly with their own HROG's members. FO areas corresponded to the "required components of the home range" reported elsewhere for other ungulate species. Close social interactions were scarcely observed, and no sexual bias in ranging and grouping was confirmed. The stability in ranging and unstability in grouping are discussed in relation to domestication and management of the cattle herd.

Journal of Ethology, 3: 39-47 (1985)

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