Saturday, February 11, 2012


The markhor (Capra falconeri) is a species wild goat from the genus of Capra. It is rated as ''Endangered'' by the IUCN. It is found in Asia. It is the national animal of Pakistan.
Male markhor

Physical Features
The markhor is the tallest species of wild goat by its shoulder height. The markhor stands about 30 to 48 inches tall (76 cm to 121 cm) at the shoulder. The length of this wild goat ranges from 4 feet to 6 feet. They have very lengthy horns which grow 5 feet long in males. The horns of females are much smaller than males. Their horns grow up to only 25 centimeters. Male markhors weigh 110 kilograms while females weigh only 40 kilograms. The main difference between male markhors and female markhors is the shaggy throat. Males have beard-like hair dangling from their chin. Both males and females have corkscrew-like horns. In summers, the fur of the markhor becomes shorter and reddish-grey in color.

Female markhor

Distribution and Habitat
The markhor is located in central and south of Asia.  It is found in the countries of Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, southern parts of Uzbekistan and some parts of Tajikistan.  The markhor is found in Gilgit-Baltistan, Hunza-Nagar Valley, northern and central Pakistan, and some parts of Jammu and Kashmir.  Markhors live in mountainous regions.  They live at astonishing heights of 700m to 4000m (2,300 feet to 13,200 feet).  Markhors live in the sparsely wooded parts of western Himalayas.  The markhor is an endangered goat with fewer than 2,500 individuals remaining.

The diet of markhors depend on the season in the mountains.  In summer, they eat tussock grass.  During winter, they will eat shrubby leaves and twigs which are found on the lower slopes of the mountains.

Conservation Status
The markhor is rated as 'Endangered' by the IUCN. There are only 2500 individuals of this goat found in the mountains of Asia.  Markhors are bred in many zoos all around the world.

Source of pic 1, pic 2, pic 3