IUCN threat status:

Near Threatened (NT)

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Biology

In the early morning tahr move uphill onto alpine pastures, descending to the refuge of cliffs and scrub forest at night. Adult males tend to range more widely and independently outside the rutting season (3). Most (70%) of the daylight hours are spent feeding, mainly in the early morning and late afternoon, and resting around midday. Tahr are predominantly grazers, feeding on grasses and herbs, but they do browse the leaves of shrubs particularly when pastures are snow-covered (3). They live in mixed herds, commonly from several to 15 within a group and occasionally up to 80 or more, depending on the terrain (4) (5). During the rut males, who become sexually mature after two years, compete for mating privileges. These competitive displays consist of two males walking stiffly parallel to each other, with their manes erect, heads down and horns exposed to intimidate each other (2). Usually one of the males will retreat submissively, and it is rare for a display to end with direct horn wrestling. The intensity of such struggles seems to be less than that observed in other species of ungulates (7). Males also display to the females, spending hours strutting in front of them before mating (4). In the Himalayas the rut lasts from late October to January or even February (7), and in New Zealand from April to July (2); this difference is due to the six month shift in seasons (2). Outside the breeding season, males live together in separate groups and females leave their group in order to give birth after a seven month gestation period (5). Females usually give birth to one offspring per birth, which are weaned at about six months. The Himalayan tahr lifespan is between 10 to 14 years, with females living longer than males, although individuals have been reported to live up to 22 years (7).

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Source: ARKive

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