US Geological Survey


Date of this Version



Published in Mammalian Species (2008) 813: 1-16. DOI: 10.1644/813.1


Boselaphus tragocamelus (Pallas, 1766) is a bovid commonly called the nilgai or blue bull and is Asia’s largest antelope. A sexually dimorphic ungulate of large stature and unique coloration, it is the only species in the genus Boselaphus. It is endemic to peninsular India and small parts of Pakistan and Nepal, has been extirpated from Bangladesh, and has been introduced in the United States (Texas), Mexico, South Africa, and Italy. It prefers open grassland and savannas and locally is a significant agricultural pest in India. It is not of special conservation concern and is well represented in zoos and private collections throughout the world.