Basic Information

Scientific Name Boselaphus Tragocamelus
Class Mammalia
Phylum Chordata

The Indian Nilgai or Blue Bull or Blue Buck is the biggest Asian antelope with the scientific name Boselaphus tragocamelus falling under the Family Bovidae. It is the most commonly seen animal in Central and Northern India.The mature male appears ox-like and is also known as the blue bull.This antelope is covered with the blue-gray or brownish-gray colored skin in males. They have thin and medium length legs. They have a long and narrow head with two small and smooth horns both making a U shape. They have white spots on the cheeks, edges of the lips and the ventral side of the body. They have long and heavy hair on the back part of neck and on the mid of the throat. They have a small tail which moves to and fro when the bull is excited. The strong shoulders and thick neck helps them to intensify on sloping profile. Nilgai is 4-5 feet (120-150 cm) tall and 6-6.6 feet (180-200 cm) long.


Nilgai is a diurnal creature, found inhabiting Indian grasslands and woodlands. It avoids dense forest and has preference for plains and low hills with shrubs. Blue bulls are found in the northern plains of India, stretching on from the base of the Himalayas in the north, to the state of Karnataka in the South. Their range also covers the area from the Gir forest, across the border of Rajasthan in the West to the states of Assam and West Bengal in the East.


Nilgai antelope is a sociable creature, usually found in single-sex or mixed-sex herds. In winter, male blue bulls of northern India are known to form herds of 30 to 100 animals. Male Blue bulls, after they reach old age, may be found leading a solitary life. One can also come across individual male or female nilgais in cultivated or semi-urban areas.Nilgai attains maturity at the age of 18 months. The gestation period lasts for 8 months, after which, usually, twins are born. 

Related Aves