East Caucasian Tur, Capra cylindricornis

The East Caucasian tur (Capra cylindricornis) is a goat-antelope that resides only on the eastern half of the Caucasus Mountains. It prefers a habitat in rocky areas, at altitudes of between 2,600 and 13,000 feet. This species migrates during the year, moving down the slopes in May and back up in October. Some of the areas that this tur migrates to are protected.

The East Caucasian tur reaches an average height of 39 inches at the shoulder, and a weight of 130 pounds. The bodies of this species are stout, but long, and the fur is typically dark reddish brown in the winter and lighter red in the summer. Both males and females have lyre shaped horns, but these grow larger in males than in females, at a length of up to 35 inches.

The breeding season of the East Caucasian tur occurs between November and January. During this time, males residing at higher altitudes will join the females in order to breed, and aggression is common. After a pregnancy period of around six months, young are born that are able to move about at the end of their first day. After one moth of age, the young turs will begin to eat grass, but will continue to nurse for up to four months.

The diet of the East Caucasian consists of vegetation like grasses and leaves, with feeding times varying between morning, night, and late afternoon. During winter, groups of these turs remain in the feeding grounds, instead of resting in caves. Common predators of this species include lynxes and wolves. The East Caucasian tur appears on the IUCN Red List with a conservation status of “Least Concern”.

Image Caption: Capra cylindricornis at Moskau Zoo. Credit: Altaipanther/Wikipedia