Five groups that classify all living things
A group of animals within the animal kingdom
A group of animals within a pylum
A group of animals within a class
A group of animals within an order
A group of animals within a family
The name of the animal in science
The animal group that the species belongs to
What kind of foods the animal eats
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is
|132cm - 186cm (52in - 73in)|
The measurement of how heavy the animal is
|32kg - 110kg (71lbs - 240lbs)|
The fastest recorded speed of the animal
How long the animal lives for
|10 - 13 years|
Whether the animal is solitary or sociable
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct
The colour of the animal's coat or markings
|Grey, Black, White, Brown, Tan|
The protective layer of the animal
The preferred food of this animal
The specific area where the animal lives
|Sparsely wooded cliff-sides|
|Average Litter Size:|
The average number of babies born at once
The food that the animal gains energy from
|Grasses, Leaves, Herbs|
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal
|Wolves, Snow Leopard, Lynx|
Characteristics unique to this animal
|Long winter hair and large, spiralled horns|
Map of Asia
The markhor is an endangered species of wild goat that is natively found in the mountainous regions of western and central and Asia. The markhor is thought to have been named using the Persian word for snake, either because of the large coiled horns of the markhor or due to its ability to kill snakes in the wild, although the exact reason is unknown.
The markhor is found in northeastern Afghanistan, Gilgit-Baltistan, Hunza-Nagar Valley, northern and central Pakistan and the disputed territory of Kashmir, southern Tajikistan and southern Uzbekistan. The markhor is most commonly found inhabiting the high-altitude monsoon forests that litter these areas.
The markhor is a very distinctive species of wild goat, easily identified by it's long, white winter hair and the enormous spiralled horns that can grow to more than 1.5 meters in length on the males. The horns of the females are, although still large for goats, generally less than 50cm in length.
Markhor are well adapted to mountainous terrain, and can be found between 600-3,600 meters in elevation. They typically inhabit scrub forests made up primarily of oaks, pines, and junipers where there is plenty for the markhor to eat. Markhor are also diurnal animals, meaning that they are mainly active in the early morning and late afternoon.
The markhor is a herbivorous animal that primarily grazes on a variety of vegetation including grasses, leaves, herbs, fruits and flowers. Like other wild goats, the markhor play a valuable role within their eco-system as they munch the leaves from the low-lying trees and scrub, spreading the seeds in their dung.
Despite living almost on a cliff-edge, there are actually a number of animals that prey on these incredibly majestic creatures. Packs of wolves and wild cats such as lynxes snow leopards are the main predators of the markhor, along with humans who have deforested much of their natural habitat.
The markhor breeds in the winter when, after a gestation period that lasts for up to 170 days, usually one and occasionally two markhor babies (known as kids) are born. The markhor kids remain safe and looked after by their mother until they are able to eat solid food and become more and more independent.
Today, despite being the national animal of Pakistan, the markhor is considered to be an endangered species with less than 2,500 individuals thought to be left in a few remote areas of the Asian mountains. The decline in markhor population numbers is mainly due to deforestation resulting in the loss of their native habitats.
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First Published: 26th July 2010, Last Updated: 8th November 2019
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