Global invasive species database

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  • Enderby Island cattle in southern rata (Photo: Pete McClelland, N.Z. Department of Conservation)
  • Herd of Enderby Island cattle (Photo: Pete McClelland, N.Z. Department of Conservation)
  • Enderby Island cattle with endangered yellow-eyed penguin in foreground (Photo: Pete McClelland, N.Z. Department of Conservation)
  • Enderby Island cattle on ridgeline (Photo: Pete McClelland, N.Z. Department of Conservation)
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Common name
Hausrind (German), cattle (English)
Synonym
Bos indicus , Linnaeus, 1758
Bos primigenius , Bojanes, 1827
Similar species
Summary
Feral cattle (Bos taurus) are escaped or released domestic animals. Unless well contained by adequate fences, they form feral herds and wander into native vegetation wherever suitable food is available. They can severely modify native vegetation by browsing, crushing and trampling. In native forests they invariably lay bare the forest floor and eliminate nearly all young trees, shrubs and ferns until only a few unpalatable or browse-resistant species remain. In subalpine environments feral cattle open up clearings by breaking down and browsing low-canopied vegetation.
Species Description
Feral cattle can be distinguished from domestic stock only by their location and lack of ear marks or tags. Their size and conformation vary greatly depending on sex, age and breed. The male is heavier and larger, particularly around the head and neck. The hair is either straight or curly, and ranges from whitish to black with shades and blotches of red, roan, brown or buff. Both sexes can have horns, which are permanent and hollow, and grow throughout life over bony cores projecting from a prominent ridge on the skull. The horns of bulls are usually shorter and thicker than those of cows (Parkes, 2005).
Uses
Domestic cattle are used for meat, milk, hides and as draft animals. Feral cattle may be hunted for meat and hides.
Reproduction
The oestrus cycle is 3 weeks, and the gestation period about 9.5 months. Feral calves are most commonly born in late spring. Multiple births are unknown in feral herds. Calves are born with their eyes open, they stand and suckle almost at once, and within a few hours can follow their mother. They are usually weaned well before the next calf is born.
Males reach puberty at about 10 months of age, and thereafter are fecund throughout the year, but feral bulls do not mate until strong enough to compete for cows. Domestic cows can conceive at 6-10 months, but apparently very few do so in the wild. Cows may remain fertile for about 12 years and come in-season in spring or about 3 weeks after calving.
Nutrition
In mainland forests feral cattle browse on a very wide range of shrubs and young trees. Feral cattle are afoot at first light, feeding rapidly until the paunch is full, and then they alternate periods of chewing the cud with grazing throughout the day. Normally they ruminate lying down, but in wet weather they may stand with their backs to the wind. In bush country feral cattle will \"walk down\" tall saplings up to 6m high, straddling the stem in order to bend the tops within reach, and then stripping off the leaves.
Pathway
Particularly important in Hawaii and New Caledonia as the basis for a meat industry.

Principal source: Taylor R. H. (1990) in King C. M. (ed.) The Handbook of New Zealand Mammals

Compiler: IUCN/SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG)

Review:

Publication date: 2007-07-03

Recommended citation: Global Invasive Species Database (2016) Species profile: Bos taurus. Downloaded from http://www.iucngisd.org/gisd/species.php?sc=172 on 25-07-2016.

General Impacts
Feral cattle can severely modify native vegetation by browsing, crushing and trampling (Aston 1912; Wodzicki 1950). In native forests they invariably lay bare the forest floor and eliminate nearly all young trees, shrubs and ferns, until only a few unpalatable or browse-resistant species remain. In subalpine environments feral cattle open up clearings by breaking down and browsing low-canopied vegetation. On sub-antarctic Enderby Island feral cattle prevented the regeneration of Poa litorosa tussock grassland and a variety of endemic sub-antarctic herbs (Parkes, 2005). Scott et al. (in Stone 1984) regarded domestic and feral cattle as the “single most destructive agent to Hawai‘ian ecosystems, particularly to koa forests”. Regeneration of young koa (see Acacia koaia in IUCN Red List of Threatened Species) trees is completely suppressed in some forests of Hawai‘I (Baldwin and Fagerlund 1943; SPREP, 2000).
Degradation of breeding sites by introduced cattle has decreased the range and population of the 'critically endangered' Amsterdam albatross (see Diomedea amsterdamensis in IUCN Red List of Threatened Species). Across the island (BirdLife International 2007).
Management Info
Preventative measures: Well maintained fences can give adequate protection from cattle to areas of native woody vegetation (Courchamp et al. 2003). A fence was used on Amsterdam Island in the Indian Ocean to prevent cattle damaging the breeding grounds of the 'Critically Endangered (CR)' Amsterdam albatross (see Diomedea amsterdamensis in IUCN Red List of Threatened Species). Cattle were restricted to a small part of the island and eradicated from the rest (Micol and Jouventin, 1995).\r\n

Physical: Dogs and shooting are a standard method of control (SPREP, 2000).

Countries (or multi-country features) with distribution records for Bos taurus
Informations on Bos taurus has been recorded for the following locations. Click on the name for additional informations.
Lorem Ipsum
Location Status Invasiveness Occurrence Source
Details of Bos taurus in information
Status
Invasiveness
Arrival date
Occurrence
Source
Introduction
Species notes for this location
Location note
Management notes for this location
Impact
Mechanism:
Outcome:
Ecosystem services:
Impact information
Feral cattle can severely modify native vegetation by browsing, crushing and trampling (Aston 1912; Wodzicki 1950). In native forests they invariably lay bare the forest floor and eliminate nearly all young trees, shrubs and ferns, until only a few unpalatable or browse-resistant species remain. In subalpine environments feral cattle open up clearings by breaking down and browsing low-canopied vegetation. On sub-antarctic Enderby Island feral cattle prevented the regeneration of Poa litorosa tussock grassland and a variety of endemic sub-antarctic herbs (Parkes, 2005). Scott et al. (in Stone 1984) regarded domestic and feral cattle as the “single most destructive agent to Hawai‘ian ecosystems, particularly to koa forests”. Regeneration of young koa (see Acacia koaia in IUCN Red List of Threatened Species) trees is completely suppressed in some forests of Hawai‘I (Baldwin and Fagerlund 1943; SPREP, 2000).
Degradation of breeding sites by introduced cattle has decreased the range and population of the 'critically endangered' Amsterdam albatross (see Diomedea amsterdamensis in IUCN Red List of Threatened Species). Across the island (BirdLife International 2007).
Red List assessed species 230: EX = 1; EW = 1; CR = 54; EN = 65; VU = 76; NT = 27; LR/nt = 1; DD = 1; LC = 4;
View more species View less species
Locations
FALKLAND ISLANDS (MALVINAS)
FRENCH POLYNESIA
FRENCH SOUTHERN TERRITORIES
NEW CALEDONIA
REUNION
TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS
UNITED STATES
VIRGIN ISLANDS, BRITISH
Mechanism
[2] Competition
[1] Predation
[1] Disease transmission
[6] Grazing/Herbivory/Browsing
[1] Trampling
[3] Interaction with other invasive species
Outcomes
[10] Environmental Ecosystem - Habitat
  • [5] Reduction in native biodiversity
  • [4] Habitat degradation
  • [1] Modification of successional patterns
[1] Environmental Species - Population
  • [1] Plant/animal health
[1] Socio-Economic
  • [1] Modification of landscape
Management information
Preventative measures: Well maintained fences can give adequate protection from cattle to areas of native woody vegetation (Courchamp et al. 2003). A fence was used on Amsterdam Island in the Indian Ocean to prevent cattle damaging the breeding grounds of the 'Critically Endangered (CR)' Amsterdam albatross (see Diomedea amsterdamensis in IUCN Red List of Threatened Species). Cattle were restricted to a small part of the island and eradicated from the rest (Micol and Jouventin, 1995).\r\n

Physical: Dogs and shooting are a standard method of control (SPREP, 2000).

Management Category
Eradication
Control
Unknown
Bibliography
27 references found for Bos taurus

Managment information
Aston, B. C. 1912. Some effects of imported animals on the indigenous vegetation. Transactions and Proceedings of the NZ Institute 44: 19-24.
Atkinson, I. A. E. and Atkinson, T. J. 2000. Land vertebrates as invasive species on islands served by the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme. In: Invasive Species in the Pacific: A Technical Review and Draft Regional Strategy. South Pacific Regional Environment Programme, Samoa: 19-84.
Summary: This report reviews available information on the adverse effects of 14 alien vertebrates considered to be �significant invasive species on islands of the South Pacific and Hawaii, supplementing the authors� experience with that of other workers.
Baldwin, P. H. and Fagerlund, G. O. 1943. The effect of cattle grazing on koa reproduction in Hawaii National Park. Ecology 24: 118�122.
Bomford, M., 2003. Risk Assessment for the Import and Keeping of Exotic Vertebrates in Australia. Bureau of Rural Sciences, Canberra.
Summary: Available from: http://www.feral.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/PC12803.pdf [Accessed August 19 2010]
Courchamp, F., Chapuis, J.-L., and Pascal, M. 2003. Mammal invaders on islands: impact, control and control impact. Biological Reviews, 78: 347-383.
Summary: Comprehensive review of impacts of mammals on islands using rabbits as a case study
Rescue Projects of the Rare Breeds Conservation Society of New Zealand: Enderby Island cattle.
Summary: Outlines the effort invested in a rescue project to conserve the rare breed of Enderby Island cattle when conservation values conflicted with historical values.
Snowcraft, P. G. 1983. Tree cover changes in mammane (Sophora chrysophylla) forests grazed by sheep and cattle. Pacific Science 37: 109�119.
Taylor, R. H. 1990. Feral cattle. In King, C. M. (ed.) The Handbook of New Zealand Mammals, Oxford University Press, New Zealand: 373-379.
Varnham, K. 2006. Non-native species in UK Overseas Territories: a review. JNCC Report 372. Peterborough: United Kingdom.
Summary: This database compiles information on alien species from British Overseas Territories.
Available from: http://www.jncc.gov.uk/page-3660 [Accessed 10 November 2009]
Wodzicki, K. A. 1950. Introduced mammals of New Zealand. Department of Scientific and Industrial Research Bulletin 98. Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, Wellington.
General information
BirdLife International 2007. Diomedea amsterdamensis. In: IUCN 2007. 2007 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Summary: Available from: http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/details/144900/0 [Accessed March 8 2010]
Butaud, pers. comm., 2007
Summary: Personal communication with Jean Fran�ois Butaud, an expert naturalist of French Polynesia
Chapuis, J., Bouss�s, P., & Barnaud, G. 1994. Alien mammals, impact and management in the French Subantartic Islands. Biological Conservation, 67, 97-104.
Summary: Cet article pr�sente la situation actuelle et les impacts des populations introduites de mammif�res dans les �les subantarctiques fran�aises. Les moyens de contr�le en place ou planifi�s sont �galement pr�sent�s.
Chapuis, J.L, & Bousses, P. 1987. Relations animal-v�g�tation : cons�quences des introductions de mammif�res phytophages dans l archipel de Kerguelen. Actes du colloque sur la Recherche fran�aise dans les Terres Australes.269-278
Summary: L histoire des introductions de 4 mammif�res herbivores, l �volution de leurs populations, et leurs impacts sur les communaut�s v�g�tales et animales sont pr�sent�s et discut�s. Des moyens de contr�le sont envisag�s pour permettre la restauration de ces milieux.
De Garine-Wichatitsky, M., Spaggiari, J., Menard, C. 2004. Ecologie et impact des ongul�s introduits sur la for�t s�che de Nouvelle Cal�donie. IAC/CIRAD, Programme Elevage et Faune, Pa�ta, Nouvelle-Cal�donie, 50p et 128 p d annexes.
Frenot, Y., Chown, S.L., Whinam, J., Selkirk, P., Convey, P., Skotnicki, M., & Bergstrom, D. 2005. Biological invasions in the Antarctic: extent, impacts and implications. Bio. Rev, 80, 45-72.
Summary: Article de synth�se sur les invasions biologiques (plantes, invert�br�s et vert�br�s) en antarctique.
Available from: http://www.anta.canterbury.ac.nz/resources/non-native%20species%20in%20the%20antarctic/Talk%202%20Frenot.pdf [Accessed 4 April 2008]
Frenot, Y., Gloaguen, J., Mass�, L., & Lebouvier, M. 2001. Human activities, ecosystem disturbance and plant invasions in subantarctic Crozet, Kerguelen and Amsterdam Islands. Biological Conservation, 101, 33-50.
Summary: Cette article propose une liste des plantes exotiques pour 3 des �les subantarctiques fran�aises. Le r�le pass� et pr�sent des activit�s humaines dans les ph�nom�nes d invasions est discut�.
ITIS (Integrated Taxonomic Information System), 2004. Online Database Bos taurus
Summary: An online database that provides taxonomic information, common names, synonyms and geographical jurisdiction of a species. In addition links are provided to retrieve biological records and collection information from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) Data Portal and bioscience articles from BioOne journals.
Available from: http://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=183838 [Accessed December 31 2004]
Meyer, J.-Y. pers. comm., 2007
Summary: Personal communication with Jean Yves Meyer, from the D�l�gation � la Recherche of French Polynesia
Micol, T. & Jouventin, P. 1995. Restoration of Amsterdam Island, South Indian Ocean, following control of feral cattle. Biol. Conserv., 72, 199-206.
Parkes, J.P. 2005. Feral cattle. In C.M. King (Ed.): Handbook of New Zealand Mammals, Second Edition, pp. 346-350. Oxford University Press, Melbourne.
Pascal, M., Barr�, N., De Garine-Wichatitsky, Lorvelec, O., Fr�tey, T., Brescia, F., Jourdan, H. 2006. Les peuplements n�o-cal�doniens de vert�b�br�s : invasions, disparitions. Pp 111-162, in M.-L. Beauvais et al., : Les esp�ces envahissantes dans l�archipel n�o-cal�donien, Paris, IRD �ditions, 260 p.+ c�d�rom
Summary: Synth�se des introductions d esp�ces de vert�br�s en Nouvelle-Cal�donie et �valuation de leurs impacts.
Triolo, J. 2005. Guide pour la restauration �cologique de la v�g�tation indig�ne-Ile de La R�union, ONF-Direction G�n�rale de la R�union, 88 p
Summary: Guide pratique sur la restauration �cologique � la R�union. De nombreuses informations sur la v�g�tation et les menaces.
Contact
The following 3 contacts offer information an advice on Bos taurus
de Garine-Wichatitsky,
Michel
Geographic region: Pacific, southern Africa
Ecosystem: Terrestrial
Organization:
Centre de coop�ration internationale en recherche agronomique pour le d�veloppement
Address:
CIRAD/UR22, Integrated Wildlife Management. 37 Arcturus Road, Highlands, P.O. Box 1378, Harare, Zimbabwe
Phone:
(263)4 443422
Fax:
Lebouvier,
Marc
Geographic region: Antarctic
Ecosystem: Terrestrial
Organization:
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
Address:
UMR 6553 Ecobio, CNRS - Universit� de Rennes 1 Station Biologique 35380 Paimpont
Phone:
02.99.61.81.75
Fax:
Saunders,
Alan
Alan is the coordinator of the Cooperative Islands Initiative based at the University of Auckland. He has extensive experience in pest control, species recovery and ecological restoration during his employment with the New Zealand Department of Conservation.
Organization:
Coordinator, Cooperative Islands Initiative
Address:
SGES/Tamaki Campus, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland, New Zealand
Phone:
+64 9 3737599 Ext 86805
Fax: