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Kidadl Team

SEPTEMBER 09, 2021

Himalayan Serow: 17 Facts You Won’t Believe!

Himalayan serow facts are important to learn because of their Vulnerable status.

The Himalayan serow or Capricornis sumatraensis thar is found exclusively in the Himalayan cold desert in India. It is a subspecies of the Mainland serow (Capricornis sumatraensis), which is found in Asia. This medium-sized mammal is considered to be an amalgamation of a goat, antelope, and donkey due to its peculiar features. This subspecies is found in two different forms - dark form and red form. The forms can be distinguished due to the color of the hair of the animals belonging to this subspecies. The dark form is seen in Jammu and Kashmir along with Arunachal Pradesh while the red form can be seen in Mizoram, Himachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Tripura, and Nagaland. The red form of the Himalayan serow is rarer and was last sighted in Himachal Pradesh in India.

This animal has an acute sense of smell, hearing, and vision. It is also quite wary of human beings and prefers to live in forests where humans cannot interfere. The Wildlife Protection Act (1972) protects this animal and prohibits people from hunting it. The Great Himalayan National Park, the Pin Valley National Park, and Rupi Bhaba wildlife sanctuary are some of the parks which have been protected under the Wildlife Protection Act (1972) to save this animal.

Keep reading for more amazing facts about the Himalayan serow! For more relatable content, check out these bontebok facts and takins facts for kids.

Himalayan Serow Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Himalayan serow?

The Himalayan serow (Capricornis sumatraensis thar) is a type of serow animal.

What class of animal does a Himalayan serow belong to?

The Himalayan serow belongs to the Mammalia class of animals.

How many Himalayan serows are there in the world?

The exact population of Himalayan serows in the world has not yet been observed by scientists. However, their population in the Himalayan region is considered to be alarmingly low due to intensive human impact in their natural habitat.

Where does a Himalayan serow live?

The Himalayan serow or Capricornis sumatraensis thar are found in the eastern, central, and western Himalayan regions. In India, they are found in the Himalayan cold desert regions including the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir and the north-eastern states of Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, and Nagaland.

What is a Himalayan serow's habitat?

The Himalayan serow habitat includes dense forest in the Himalayas without any humans near them. They are also found in subalpine scrubs and valleys in the hill region.

Who do Himalayan serows live with?

Himalayan serow is mostly solitary in nature. They might also be seen roaming around in pairs or small groups of 10 serows in the Himalayan region. However, they have been known to use their horns in case they are near any predator in the Himalayan cold desert.

How long does a Himalayan serow live?

The average lifespan of a Himalayan serow in the wild has not yet been calculated. However, mainland serow (Capricornis sumatraensis) has an average lifespan of 10 years in the wild.

How do they reproduce?

Serows reach sexual maturity around three years after birth. They are known to breed during the late autumn months. The gestation period for the serow lasts for about six to seven months and the females give birth to a Himalayan serow young in the summer. Each female gives birth to only one kid each year. The baby serow becomes mature a year after it is born and leaves its mother to roam around independently.

What is their conservation status?

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Himalayan serow has been listed under the category of Vulnerable in the IUCN Red List that classifies near threatened wildlife. They are not extinct yet.

Himalayan Serow Fun Facts

What do Himalayan serows look like?

The Himalayan serow is a medium-sized mammal that looks like a goat or an antelope but has long ears like a donkey. It has a coarse coat of long hair on its body which is either dark black in color or the rarer red form. Both male and female Himalayan serows have black and white-colored mane and a dark stripe along their dorsal region. They have white hair inside their dark ears and their tails are also dark in color.

Himalayan serow facts are fun to learn because of the unique description of these mountain serows.


How cute are they?

Himalayan serows are not very cute in the conventional sense. However, they are a very rare animal to spot in the wild in the Himalayas and can be missed easily unless one knows their description.

How do they communicate?

The Himalayan serow adaptation features include body language and sound in order to communicate with each other. When they feel threatened by predators, they make a snorting sound and run away.

How big is a Himalayan serow?

The average size of the Himalayan serow is approximately 4.6-5.9 ft (140-180 cm).

The Himalayan serow range of length is somewhat smaller than that of the spiral-horned antelope. The spiral-horned antelope grows to around 5.9-7.9 ft (1.8-2.4 m) in length.

How fast can a Himalayan serow run?

The Himalayan serow is not as good a runner as the antelope. However, it can swim very well and walk easily through the difficult terrain of mountain and hill slopes.

How much does a Himalayan serow weigh?

The average weight of the Himalayan serow is 187.4-308.6 lb (85-140 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

The male Himalayan serow is normally referred to as buck or billy while a female animal of this species is referred to as doe or nanny.

What would you call a baby Himalayan serow?

A Himalayan serow baby is usually referred to as a kid.

What do they eat?

The Himalayan serow diet is herbivorous in nature. It mostly feeds on grass, herbs, shrubs, twigs, and leaves.

Are they dangerous?

The Himalayan serow is not known to be dangerous or harmful to human beings.

Would they make a good pet?

The Himalayan serow would not make a good pet at all, unlike the Shiba Inu dogs. These are primarily wild animals who prefer a natural habitat of forest and mountains.

Did you know...

An animal of this species was last sighted in the state of Himachal Pradesh. It was sighted in the village named Hurling in the Spiti region. Spiti is a cold desert region in Himachal Pradesh that is situated around 13,123 ft (4,000 m) above sea level. This made the sighting even more special because the animal was spotted for the first time in an elevation of 13,123 ft (4,000 m) above sea level. Camera traps have also allowed wildlife officials to spot the animal in Himachal Pradesh.

Apart from camera traps, the Himalayan serow has also been observed in the Rupi Bhaba Wildlife Sanctuary. The Rupi Bhaba Wildlife Sanctuary in the Chamba region is known for its connection with the Great Himalayan National Park and Pin Valley National Park.

Are Himalayan serows endangered?

Himalayan serows are endangered but they are listed under the category of Vulnerable by the IUCN Red List so they are not considered as Endangered species yet. However, they might be declared an Endangered species soon if their population size keeps decreasing. Due to the negative impact of human interference into their natural habitat, this species has been facing a constant decline in habitat range and population size.

Conservation of this species has been attempted by the government of India especially after it was determined to be Near Threatened under the IUCN Red List. However, this species prefers to be away from humans and remain in the absolute wild forest region of the Himalayas. Therefore, it has been difficult to bring it to a wildlife sanctuary in order to provide this species with absolute protection. Camera traps have been installed by wildlife officials so that the animal can be sighted better.

Why is the Himalayan serow important?

The Himalayan serow is important because it is a unique subspecies of mainland serow found among the wildlife of the Himalayas. It is an important part of the diverse and unique wildlife seen in the Himalayan region of India. The article in the constitution of India - Wildlife Protection Act 1972 has specifically noted this animal which is sighted in the Himalayas. Just like the Bengal tiger, the government of India has also prohibited the hunting of this unique animal in the geographic range of the Himalayas and has offered it absolute protection.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these greater kudu interesting facts and argali surprising facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable deer coloring pages.

Main image and second image by Dibyendu Ash

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