The yak is a long-haired bovine found throughout the Himalayan region of south Central Asia, the Tibetan Plateau and as far north as Mongolia and Russia. In addition to a large domestic population, there is a small, vulnerable wild yak population. In the 1990s, a concerted effort was undertaken to help save the wild yak population. The English word 'yak' derives from the Tibetan gyag. This refers only to the male of the species, the female being called a dri or nak. In English, as in most other languages which have borrowed the word, 'yak' is usually used for both sexes. Yaks belong to the genus Bos, and are therefore related to cattle (Bos primigenius taurus, Bos primigenius indicus). Mitochondrial DNA analyses to determine the evolutionary history of yaks have been somewhat ambiguous.
Contributions by Sengkang, Barbara Shack, and 126.96.36.199.