himalayan tahr Scientific Name-Hemitragus jemlahicus

Conservation Status– Near threatened

Appearance

The Himalayan tahr is a relative of the goat. It measures 65-100cm high not including the horns. Their body length is 90 to 140cm. The weight of the average Himalayan tahr is 73kg for a male and 35kg for a female. The horns have a maximum length of 36cm.

The Himalayan tahr has a thick reddish coloured coat on the top. Under this is another thick layer of hair. During winter this becomes thicker and at the end it thins again. The males have a large mane on their neck. This flows around the neck up onto the shoulders and down the front legs.

The Himalayan tahr is an even toed ungulate. This means they have an even number of toes.

Lifespan                                                                                  

In the wild Himalayan tahr can reach 15 years of age. One individual reached 22 years of age in captivity.

Diet

Himalayan tahrs are herbivores. A vast majority of their day is spent grazing. They feed on grasses, leaves and fruits.

Habitat

The Himalayan tahr ranges across Nepal, China and India. The Himalayan tahr is adapted to mountainous environments. They live on slopes with an elevation of 2,500m to 5,000m.During the winter the higher areas are covered in snow meaning they cannot graze in these areas so they move to a lower height. They are also found in open woodlands.

Reproduction

himalayan tahrHimalayan tahr breed between April and July. These animals are polygamous (meaning they have more than one mate). This creates competition between the males for breeding rights. These fights use up a lot of their energy with males losing much of their fat during the breeding season.

After a gestation period of 7 months a young tahr is born. In some rare instances twins may be born. The baby is weaned at 6 months of age and by 2-3 years of age they are sexually mature.

Behaviour

Himalayan snow leopards are the main predator of the Himalayan tahr.

They are most active in the morning and evening. They spend the day resting in the rocks and vegetation.

They live in hers generally consisting of 10-15 tahr. Some herds of up to 80 have been observed.

Quick facts

The Himalayan tahr has been introduced into New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina and the United States