Banteng (Bos javanicus)

Other names: Tembadau

Adult male banteng, Malua Forest Reserve, Sabah, Malaysia (Sabah Wildlife Department/ DGFC/IZW)



Population estimate

In Situ: A once widely distributed species, the banteng is rapidly declining across its entire range - the global banteng range has reduced by 80% in less than 20 years. The number of banteng remaining in the wild is estimated to be 3000-5000 individuals. Only seven populations with more than 50 banteng remain in the wild: four in Java (Ujung Kulon National Park, Baluran National Park, Alas Purwo National Park, and Meru Betiri National Park), two in Thailand (Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary and Om Koi Wildlife Sanctuary) and probably one in Cambodia (Mondulkiri region); none of these exceed 500 individuals (Ashby and Santiapillai, 19887; Srikosamatara and Suteethorn, 1958; Pudyatmoko, 2004)7,8,9.

Ex Situ: There is a large, non-native, population of banteng in northern Australia.

Distribution and habitat preference

Banteng historically occurred from southern China (Yunnan), throughout mainland Southeast Asia and the islands of Borneo, Java, and probably Bali. Banteng are native to Cambodia, Indonesia (Bali, Jawa, Kalimantan), Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar; Thailand and Vietnam.1


Banteng inhabit open dry deciduous, mixed deciduous or evergreen forest, preferably in low elevation zones. Optimal banteng habitat includes open grassy areas and access to water and mineral licks. Forest clearings benefit banteng as they provide improved feeding sites. When food declines in the dry season, banteng move to open low elevation zones and shift from foraging primarily on bamboo shoots to foraging on bark and they (Prayurasiddhi, 1997). During the wet season, banteng leave the valleys to forage in forests at higher elevations. In general, though, banteng have retreated to denser hill forests in the face of advancing cultivation.1Once widely distributed in south-east Asia, banteng are now restricted to small, fragmented populations. Bos javanicus javanicus is confined to a few protected areas on the island of Java and Bali. Bos javanicus lowiis restricted to the island of Borneo. Scattered small populations of Bosjavanicus birmanicus still exist in Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. B. j. birmanicus has been extirpated in India, Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, and Peninsular Malaysia.