Himalayan tahr

Near threatened
Scientific name : Hemitragus jemlahicus

Where do they live?

In China, India and Nepal on the slopes of the Himalayas, up to an elevation of 5000 m.

Did you know?

The differences are not so obvious...
There are currently three genera of tahr: the Arabian tahr, the Nilgiri tahr native to southern India, and the Himalayan tahr that we have here at the Parc Animalier d'Auvergne. These three were once combined into one genus, but genetic studies determined that they belong to three separate genera. Classification is constantly changing with new technologies that provide us with more precise information.

The Himalayan tahr is a diurnal and social animal. Females and their young form groups of around twenty individuals that adult males join during the breeding season, between October and January. During this period, the males fight in the snowy slopes by striking antlers and attempting to knock the other off balance.
The tahr migrates in the spring to elevations up to 5000 m and comes back down to 2500 m in the autumn to take shelter from the extreme cold. Stocky and agile, they are well suited to their mountain environment and are able to move among the rocks. They have thick fur, especially at the shoulders and neck, and a very short tail, which help them withstand the mountain climate. They feed mainly on grass but will also eat fruit to complement their diet. Their main predator is the snow leopard. The Himalayan tahr is hunted for its meat and suffers from the expansion of human populations. They also sometimes compete with livestock for food.

Length

90 to 140 cm with a tail measuring 9 to 12 cm.

Height

65 to 100 cm at the withers.

Horns

40 cm in males.

Weight

50 to 100 kg.

Life expectancy

18 years.

Sexual maturity

2 years.

Keep up hope

There are still species to protect!

In India, the Himalayan tahr is present in many protected reserves, but some populations have moved outside of these areas. It was therefore proposed to the Indian Government to extend the protected areas, to create new ones and to enlist local communities in the protection of the species. Tahr populations have also been introduced in several countries, such as New Zealand and South Africa, where they have successfully adapted to their environments. They are backup populations for those in the Himalayan environment.