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SPECIES Bos grunniens

Author:Linnaeus, 1766.
Citation:Syst. Nat., 12th ed., 1: 99.
Common Name:Yak
Type Locality:"Habitat in Asia boreali"; "in regno Tibetano" according to Gmelin, in Linnaeus, 1788 (China, Tibetan Plateau); based on domesticated stock.
Distribution:China (Gansu, Sichuan, Sinkiang, Tibet including Qinghai), N India (Ladak), and Nepal; apparently in Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and S Russia (Siberia) until 13th to 18th centuries; domesticated in C Asia; feral in China, Inner Mongolia, Helan Mtns (Wiener et al, 2003).
Status:CITES Appendix I as B. mutus (excluding domesticated form); U.S. ESA Endangered as B. mutus (= grunniens m.); IUCN Vulnerable.
Comments:Includes mutus; but see Corbet (1978c:206). Formerly placed in Poephagus. Reviewed by Olsen (1990). Gentry et al. (1996) proposed that majority usage be confirmed by adoption of Bos mutus as the name for the wild taxon of yak, though it has not been demonstrated that most authors have termed the wild yak B. mutus rather than B. grunniens (or B. g. mutus). Gentry et al. (1996) asked the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature to use its plenary powers to rule that the name for this wild species is not invalid by virtue of being antedated by the name based on the domestic form. A ruling has now been made in their favour (International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature, 2003a). It may still be valid for those who consider B. grunniens and B. mutus to be conspecific to employ the senior name for the name of the species (see Bock, 1997); here mutus is provisionally treated as a subspecies of grunniens. Domestic and wild yaks have identical mitochondrial haplotypes in the gene fragments tested (Schaller, 1998). Bos bunelli Frick, 1937 is not a Pleistocene Alaskan yak but a domestic cow (Guthrie, 1990; Olsen, 1991).


SUBSPECIES grunniens



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