Himalayan Tahr Fact File
The Himalayan tahr is a relative of the goat. It measures 65-100cm
(25.6-39.4in) high not including the horns. Their body length is 90 to 140cm (35.4-55.1in). The weight of the average Himalayan tahr is 73kg (161lbs) for a male and 35kg (77lbs) for a female. The horns have a maximum length of 36cm (14.2in).
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. Their tail is very short.
The Himalayan tahr is an even toed ungulate. This means they have an even number of toes.
Himalayan tahrs are herbivores. A vast majority of their day is spent grazing. They feed on grasses, leaves and fruits.
The Himalayan tahr ranges across Nepal, China and India. An introduced population also exists in New Zealand and South Africa.
The Himalayan tahr is adapted to mountainous environments. They live on slopes with an elevation of 2,500m to 5,000m (8,202-16,404ft).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.
Wild 15 years
Captive 22 years
— AD —
Himalayan 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. Males fight by locking horns and trying to make the other tahr lose their balance.
After a gestation period of 7 months a young tahr is born. In some rare instances twins may be born. The mother will leave her group for a few day’s and give birth on her own. The baby is up and walking within a few hours.
The baby is weaned at 6 months of age and by 2-3 years of age they are sexually mature.
Males leave at sexual maturity to form male only groups while females will typically stay within their mother’s group.
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 herds generally consisting of 10-15 tahr. Some herds of up to 80 have been observed.
The Himalayan tahr has been introduced into New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina and the United States
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Woodroffe, R. & Sillero-Zubiri, C. 2020. Lycaon pictus (amended version of 2012 assessment). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2020: e.T12436A166502262. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2020-1.RLTS.T12436A166502262.en. Downloaded on 27 April 2020.
Kennedy, S. 2002. “Hemitragus jemlahicus” (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed May 16, 2020 at https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Hemitragus_jemlahicus/
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