India's endangered wild buffalo, a favourite prey of tigers, is being counted at the Kaziranga National Park (KNP). The results will be out next week.

More than 200 buffaloes were killed on Thursday when a fire swept through wooden sheds at a farm in Cattle Colony in Landhi.

They are the black beauties of north Gujarat showing off their stout, well-groomed bodies to the buyers from down south. The Mehsanvi buffalo, which has been the mainstay of dairies of this region, is now being looked upon to resuscitate the crisis-ridden farmers of Andhra Pradesh (AP) among whom many have committed suicide. Under the schemes floated by the Centre and the AP government for these farmers, several government veterinary doctors accompanied by farmers, have come to this village to buy the Mehsanvi buffalo. Each of these buffaloes yield 12 litres of milk in a day. In the last two months alone, an estimated 1,500 Mehsanvi buffaloes have been sent to various villages in AP. There are two schemes for farmers in AP: one is the state government scheme for those families which are below the poverty line, the other is the prime minister's package for the families of farmers who committed suicide. "Under the PM's package, each affected family will be given two buffaloes. As part of this scheme, I am here with farmers to buy Mehsanvi buffaloes,'' says Dr I Balasundaram, a veterinary surgeon from Medak district of AP, adding that they also intend to develop a strong dairy industry. "This is the best business for rural folk because losses are minimised and over the years, it only grows,' says Balasundaram. Under these schemes, farmers are given buffaloes at 50 per cent subsidy and the rest on loan. Each buffalo costs Rs 30,000. Says Arvind Chaudhary, who mediates these deals and is also providing buffaloes to states other than AP, "On an average, a buffalo gives six litres of milk in the morning as well as in the evening.' Chairman of the Dudhsagar Dairy (Mehsana) Vipul Chaudhary says, "The best quality Mehsanvi buffalo is the one that gives a sustained income to the family and it does not demand much maintenance, which makes it popular.' Maleka Sankar Rao, farmer from Adilabad district, AP, feels that the state needs a strong dairy industry like Gujarat which can bail it out in the event of an agrarian crisis. Mehsanvi buffaloes find their way to crisis-ridden farmers in Andhra Pradesh.

it is believed that buffaloes are more tolerant to tropical infections than cattle. A new study says Indian water buffalo harbours a protein which can yield antibiotics to cure diseases in cattle.

The milk producers agitation in Maharashtra remains unresolved. The state-wide milk bandh in the last week of June, demanding a price hike for buffalo milk, has brought to the fore a politically

a protein isolated from buffalo blood induces forward motility of goat sperm, an essential quality that makes fertilisation possible in animals and humans, claims a research team from the Indian

To make buffaloes stronger

Numerous wild buffaloes will be killed in the Rondonia state of western Brazil. They are overtaking the area's native species, say

the spectre of extinction is haunting wild buffaloes and experts say the threat is much greater than faced by tigers in the country. The magnificent beast, venerated in folklore as the van

During the 1960s and 1970s, when modernisation and development first hit the Third World, the water buffalo was rejected as an unfit animal as far as its economic utility was concerned. But their