CREATURE FEATURE: Bukharan Markhor

The Bukharan Markhor (Capra falconeri heptneri) is a large species of wild goat. It is also known as the Tadjik Markhor, the Turkmenian Markhor, or the Screw Horn Goat. It is an ungulate (hoofed) mammal.

The Bukharan Markhor looks like a goat with shaggy light-brown to black colour fur. Its coat is smooth and short in summer and thicker and longer in winter. Its lower legs have black and white fur. The male has a beard with longer hair on its chin, throat, chest and legs than the female. The female is redder in colour with shorter hair, and a short black beard, without a mane.

Both the male and the female have curled, corkscrew horns in a V-shape, but the male horns are much larger.

Turkmenian Markhor, Tadjik Markhor, Bukharan Markhor

Bukharan Markhor (female, male)

 

It measures 65-115 centimetres (26-45 inches) tall. The horns of the male can grow up to 160 centimetres (63 inches) long, and the horns of the female can grow up to 25 centimetres (10 inches) long.

The Markhor (Capra falconeri) is native to north-eastern Afghanistan, northern and central Pakistan, northern India, souther Tajikistan, southern Uzbekistan, and the Himalayan mountains, but the Bukharan Markhor was originally native to areas from Turkmenistan to Tajikistan. Currently the Bukharan Markhor is found in Tajikistan, the Kugitangtau Range in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, and maybe in northern Afghanistan.

It prefers mountainous forests, especially very steep and mountains that are inaccessible to humans and most other animals. It is an excellent, sure-footed climber.

The Bukharan Markhor is diurnal, active during the day. It is a grazer, eating grass. It also eats branches. Its predators include the snow leopard, black bear, Himalayan lynx, jackal, wolf, and golden eagle.

It lives in flocks, of usually 9 individuals. Adult males are usually solitary.

Females are pregnant for about 5 months, before giving birth to 1-2 live young, called kids.

Turkmenian Markhor, Tadjik Markhor, Bukharan Markhor

Bukharan Markhor (male)

Turkmenian Markhor, Tadjik Markhor, Bukharan Markhor

Bukharan Markhor (male)

Turkmenian Markhor, Tadjik Markhor, Bukharan Markhor

Bukharan Markhor (male)

Turkmenian Markhor, Tadjik Markhor, Bukharan Markhor

Bukharan Markhor (male)

Turkmenian Markhor, Tadjik Markhor, Bukharan Markhor

Bukharan Markhor (female)

Turkmenian Markhor, Tadjik Markhor, Bukharan Markhor

Bukharan Markhor (female)

 

 

Photographer: Martina Nicolls

Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM

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