Species Profile: Markhor


Markhor capra falconeri


A wild goat of Western and Central Asia with impressive corkscrew like horns. Male horns can reach up to 5 feet whereas horns in females reach just under a foot. The males tend to have longer hair and the coats on females tend to be more reddish in color. Males also possess a pungent odor.

Where to Find:

  • Pakistan, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and parts of India
  • Tatakuti Wildlife Sanctuary , India
  • Zoos: Highlands Wildlife Park, Scotland ; Syracuse Zoo, New York; Stone Zoo, New England
  • Naltar Wildlife Sanctuary, Pakistan,
  • Kazinag National Park, India
  • Chitral National Park, Pakistan

Conservation Status:

Once listed as endangered, it has since increased in numbers and is now viewed as near threatened. Some areas however still see populations at endangered levels. Hunting, habitat destruction, and introduced livestock disease has brought about a decline in the species.

Interesting Facts: 

  • Is known to kill snakes in the wild and locals believe that drool like foam they excrete can aid in extracting snake venom
  • The markhor is the national animal of Pakistan
  • Well adapted to life in mountainous cliffs
  • preyed upon by wolves, lynx, and snow leopards
  • Females live in large herds and joined by males during mating season

Photo By: Marie Hale


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Author: Michael Jerrard

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