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highland cow
(Bos taurus)


UK and throughout Europe. Also the Czech Republic, Poland and the Faroe Islands.

biological characteristics

Highland cattle thrive and breed in vast areas of poor mountain land with high annual rainfall and bitter winds, where no other cattle could exist. Making the most of poor forage, calving outside and seldom, if ever, housed, they make a real economic contribution to hill and upland areas. The breed is exceptionally hardy with a natural and unique ability to convert poor grazing efficiently.

conservation status

Not listed.


  • They are remarkable for their longevity: it is not uncommon for Highland Cows to breed to ages in excess of eighteen years, having borne fifteen calves.

fact file

Being a large owl they use the element of surprise to catch their prey and so usually only take short bursts of flight, thus saving energy.