Abstract

Bos grunniens Linnaeus, 1766, and Bos mutus (Przewalski, 1883) are the domestic and wild forms, respectively, of the bovid commonly called the yak. B. mutus inhabits remote high-elevation alpine meadows and alpine steppe in rolling to mountainous terrain in the Tibetan Plateau, and B. grunniens is maintained widely in China and other parts of Central Asia, and uncommonly elsewhere in the world. Populations of B. mutus are substantially reduced and fragmented throughout its remaining range; the largest numbers occur in northern Tibet and western Qinghai. B. mutus is vulnerable because of poaching and competition with domestic livestock. Although no complete survey of B. mutus has been conducted, there are probably no more than 15,000 remaining in remote areas of the Tibetan Plateau; B. grunniens numbers about 14 million.

Author notes

Associate editors of this account were Joseph F. Merritt and Pamela Owen. COlin P. Groves reviewed the synonymies and key. Editor was Meredith J. Hamilton.