Saola

By: Rehan Khan

Saloa

Scientific Name: Pseudoryx nghetinhensis

Other Names: Vu Quang Ox, Sao La, Sun Duang, Yang

Characteristics

Head and Body Length: Around 150 cm


Shoulder Height: 80-90 cm

Tail Length: 25cm

Adult Weight: Around 100 lbs

  • Dark brown coat
  • Narrow black stripe that runs down back
  • White markings on face


Habitat

Saola inhabit moist forests. Saola stay in mountain forests during the wet seasons, when water in streams and rivers is abundant, and move down to the lowlands in winter.

Biomes: Tropical Rainforest


Interactions

Diet: Its diet is composed mainly of plants, seeds, and fruits.

Predators: Although they provide potential prey to carnivorous mammals, because they are so rare it is unlikely that saola are important in local food webs.

Symbiotic Relationships: It is in a mutualistic relationship with the fig tree. The Saola eats figs from the fig tree. In return, after the figs are digested the seeds are disposed in the form of waste, thus pollinating the fig tree.



Extinction

Saola are listed as endangered. The primary threat to these animals is hunting and loss of their forest habitat due to agriculture and logging. Locals place a high value on saola because of their scarcity. Many hunters also try to capture live saola because of their importance to the scientific community. Saola don't do well in captivity, and die soon after capture. Intense conservation efforts were started in 1997 to ensure the survival of these creatures.


Sources