Markhor

Near threatened
Scientific name : Capra falconeri

Where do they live?

In the western Himalayas at an elevation between 800 and 4000 m. In an area between Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and India.

Did you know?

They play a key role in the ecosystem
Like other wild goats, the markhor plays an important role in its ecosystem. They feed on plants found in low altitude and unknowingly distribute seeds by chewing or via their droppings, which helps regenerate their food source by ensuring the growth of new trees.

The markhor is related to the goat and belongs to what is called "the group of goat-antelopes". Their coat is reddish-grey to brown-grey with long hair in the winter that they shed in the summer. The male boasts 1.5 m long spiral horns and is larger than the female, who also has horns, though less spectacular (25 cm).
Males and females live in separate groups except for during reproduction where they come together in herds of 15 to 30 individuals.

Length

1.35 to 1.80 m.

Height

65 to 115 cm.

Weight

35 to 115 kg.

Gestation period

135 to 170 days.

Litter

2 offspring per litter on average.

Life expectancy

12 years.

Keep up hope

A fitting return

Thanks to conservation efforts in Pakistan, the markhor made its great return in the north of the country. This species - which is the country’s national animal - has been classified as endangered by the IUCN since 1984. In 1999, the markhor population in the country was estimated to be less than 1000. Effective governance helped launch a local programme to train rangers whose missions include monitoring local wildlife, education and enforcing regulations. They have dealt a blow to poaching and deforestation. Whew!