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Himalayan Tahr

The Himalayan Tahr (Hemitragus jemlahicus), is a large ungulate and a close relative to the wild goat. Its native habitat is in the rugged wooded hills and mountain slopes of the Himalaya from northern India to Tibet. They spend the summers grazing in high pastures, then come down the mountains and form mixed-sex herds in the winter. Feral Himalayan Tahrs are an introduced species in the South Island of New Zealand, with herds forming in the Southern Alps. The rarity of this mammal in its native range makes conservation efforts in New Zealand crucial to its survival.

Himalayan Tahrs have relatively short legs and small heads with large eyes and small pointed ears. Their hooves have a flexible, rubbery core that allows them to grip smooth rocks, while a hard, sharp rim can lodge into small footholds. Males are larger and have different coloration and horn structure than the females. Adult Himalayan Tahrs range from 300 to 400 lbs in weight, 4 to 5.5 feet in length, and 2 to 3 feet in height.

They are herbivores, subsisting on grass, shrubs, and trees. The gestation period is seven months and usually only one kid is born at a time. The young Tahr nurses for about six months, and may follow its mother for up to two years. In the wild, Tahrs can live up to 15 years, though ten years is more typical.

Himalayan Tahr


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