Markhor Facts

Markhor Facts
Markhor is type of wild goat. There are three subspecies of markhor that can be found in the central and western parts of Asia. Markhor lives in the mountainous regions and inhabits monsoon and scrub forests. The biggest threats for the survival of markhor in the wild are habitat loss (due to deforestation) and uncontrolled hunting (meat is used in human diet, while horns are used in traditional Asian medicine and collected as trophy). Markhor was on the list of endangered animals until the 2015. Thanks to the slight increase in the population size (20% for the past 10 years), markhor is currently listed as near threatened.
Interesting Markhor Facts:
Markhor can reach 52 to 73 inches in length and 71 to 240 pounds of weight. Males are much taller and heavier than females.
Markhor has light brown to black-colored (males) or reddish-colored (females) coat that is short and smooth during the summer and long and thick during the winter. Males have long shaggy hair on the chin, throat, chest and upper part of the legs, while females have short, black beards.
Markhor has prominent corkscrew-like, spiral horns that can reach 63 inches in length in males and around 10 inches in females.
Word "markhor" means "snake" in Persian language and it probably refers to the shape of the horns (that look like coiled snake) or the ability of this animal to kill the snake.
Markhor is active early in the morning and late in the afternoon (diurnal animal).
Markhor is a herbivore. Its diet is based on the grass during the spring and summer, while leaves, flowers, herbs, twigs and shrubs are mostly consumed during the autumn and winter.
Markhor facilitates dispersal of seed of various plants in the wild (it eliminates undigested seed via feces).
Markhor spends most of the time on the cliffs that are hardly accessible for predators. When it is faced with danger, markhor uses its excellent climbing skills to escape.
Natural enemies of markhor are lynx, snow leopard, wolf and black bear.
Males are solitary, while females and their offspring live in small groups of up to 9 animals.
Males usually reside in the forests during the summer, while females prefer rocky ridges on the higher altitude.
Mating season of markhors takes place during the winter. Males fight with each other to establish dominance and get opportunity to mate.
Pregnancy in females lasts 135 to 170 days and ends with one, or rarely two babies (kids). Young markhors are weaned at the age of 5 to 6 months. Females reach sexual maturity at the age of 18 to 30 months, and males at the age of 36 months.
Markhor is national animal of Pakistan.
Markhor has an average lifespan of 10 to 13 years in the wild.

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