MARKHOR/Behaviour, Distribution, Habitat, Size, Weight, IUCN stetus



DESCRIPTION: The largest mountain goat in the world, the Markhor  has long fur like the Himalayan Tahr, a flowing beard, and corkscrew horns. Males vary from iron-grey to off-white in winter with hints of red-brown in summer. Females are fawn and are only about half the size of an adult male. Both sexes have dark brown muzzles, brown upper legs and a brown flank stripe. The belly, small rump patch and lower legs are white with a dark patch below the knees. Tail is short and less bushy than that of the Ibex. Yearlings resemble females but are smaller in size with slightly larger and broader horns. Females are also slightly lighter than yearlings. Class I males are the size of females with a darker grey-brown pelage, horns up to 45 cm, and no ruff. However, they have a thicker neck and darker pelage than females. Class II males have the beginnings of the ruff and havehorns over 50 cm. Class III males have a big black beard, and light ruff on the neck and chest up to forelegs. A light patch on the thigh and a black fur streak on the shoulder and haunch starts upwards. Horns are big, with one-and-a-half or two turns of the corkscrew. Class IV males have massive horns with two-and-a-half turns of the corkscrew, voluminous ruffs and black faces. Subspecies have been separated morphologically on the basis of their horn shape although there is much variation in this. Typically, the Flare-horned Markhor has a more loosely spiralled, open type of corkscrew that diverges towards the tips.
BEHAVIOUR: Can climb trees like goats do and the most precipitous of terrain.
DISTRIBUTION: In three discrete populations in the Kazinag, Pir Panjal, Jammu & Kashmir.
HABITAT: Dense pine and fir forests, open barren slopes, and grassy glades, all near precipitous rocky cliffs with often more than 60° slope. In alpine habitat, frequents areas with birch and juniper.

Size: 85–170 cm

Wt: 80–108 kg 

IUCN Status: Endangered


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