Moo-ving Off the Marshes

Buffalo Mum and Calf by Nathan Walton

Buffalo Mum and Calf by Nathan Walton

Buffalo Calf by Tommy Evans

Buffalo Calf by Tommy Evans

The most popular members of the Wildlife Trust’s conservation team have done their job for the year and have moved off the Teifi Marshes for the winter.  Five water buffalo have been grazing the marsh since April and have now become seven with two calves being born in August.  The calves were an unexpected and lovely surprise!

Water buffalo are not a common sight in these parts.  They are in fact native to Asia so why have them in west Wales?  People and Wildlife Officer Nia Stephens said “As well as being very popular with our visitors, the buffalo are fantastic conservation grazers and do a very important job for wildlife.  Unlike cattle or ponies water buffalo love getting their feet wet and wallowing in pools on the marsh.  They keep down invasive plants like willow scrub and reed mace and the pools they create for wallowing provide excellent habitat for damselflies, dragonflies, frogs, toads and newts.  These in turn provide an important food source for our resident otters and for birds such as egrets and herons.”

In the summer months the buffalo can easily be seen from the otter hide on the wetland trail and sometimes from the main visitor car park.  Visitors should be aware that the fence around the buffalo enclosure is an electric fence and care should be taken especially with children and dogs.

The Welsh Wildlife Centre is open seven days a week from 10am – 5pm (4pm after the clocks change).  There’s a café, shop, adventure playground and a variety of different nature trails to walk.  There are also children’s activities on every day at the Centre during school holidays, details of these can be found on our events page.