Fun Himalayan Tahr Facts For Kids

Joan Agie
Jan 04, 2023 By Joan Agie
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Oluwapelumi Iwayemi
Himalayan tahr facts about the near threatened species facing habitat loss.

Himalayan tahr (Hemitragus Jemlahicus) is a species known as an even-toed ungulate. What this means is that it distributes equal weight across their third and fourth toes.

Himalayan tahr is essentially a type of mountain goat which is native to the Himalayas and has been popular meat for not only eating but also to hunt for recreation.

Best known for their astonishing skills of covering rock covered terrains using their keratin reinforced hooves and short legs, (Hemitragus Jemlahicus) Himalayan tahr mountain goats are well accustomed to living in their natural habitat in the Himalayas.

Their population is also thriving in India, New Zealand, South Africa, United States and Argentina. These wild animals can be located living in their natural habitat in high altitudes on rugged mountain slopes and wooded hills.

Today, this species has been classified as Near Threatened in terms of their conservation status. However, efforts to artificially introduce it to other locations in the world continue. Here are some of the most important facts about the  Himalayan tahrs, after which you can check our other animal fact files on alpine ibex and white cloud mountain minnow.

Himalayan Tahr Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Himalayan tahr?

A Himalayan tahr is a type of goat that is predominantly found in mountains of India, Nepal and Bhutan, hence it is also referred to as a mountain goat. Considerable part of the population of these wild animals can be located living in their natural habitat in high altitudes on rugged mountain slopes and wooded hills.

What class of animal does a Himalayan tahr belong to?

The Himalayan tahr is classified as a mammal owing to the fact not only is it a vertebrate creature, it also has fur and gives birth to babies as a way of reproduction. The Himalayan tahr belongs to the biological family of Bovidae and has been allocated the scientific name of Hemitragus Jemlahicus.

Males of the species are double the size of females. These mountain goats with hooves can be located grazing on the mountain slopes in their natural habitat.

How many Himalayan tahrs are there in the world?

There is no accurate estimate regarding how many Himalayan tahr there are in the world. However, it suffices to say that this species of mountain goat (like Nubian ibex) has now been classified as a species  of Near Extinction in terms of its conservation status.

Where does a Himalayan tahr live?

Himalayan tahr lives in the mountains in the Himalayas in India, Nepal and Bhutan. A tahr in the Himalayas can be seen in a flock foraging on the ground with its mates.

Large parts of the population of these wild animals live in high altitudes on rugged mountain slopes and wooded hills. They can be easily located grazing on mountain slopes.

What is a Himalayan tahrs' habitat?

The Himalayan tahr’s habitat is essentially the mountains where it is cold or rocky and heavily covered in plants, trees and shrubbery. Himalayan tahrs generally prefers elevations of 2500-5000 m (2.5-5 km) and it is only during the winter seasons that these mountain goats descend from their high altitudes for food and trees that are not covered in snow.

Himalayan tahr that is found in New Zealand are generally found at elevations that are substantially lower and in areas that are not heavily covered in snow.

Who do Himalayan tahr live with?

Himalayan tahr live in flocks or a herd with other Himalayan tahr. This species of mountain goat live as a community with males and females along with their offspring. However, adult and male Himalayan tahr will often be found to be living by themselves.

How long does a Himalayan tahr live?

The average lifespan of a Himalayan tahr is roughly 10-14 years of age in its natural habitat or in the wild. Whereas in artificial surroundings or in captivity, Himalayan tahr can survive to be as old as 21 years of age.

How do they reproduce?

Himalayan tahr is known to follow a form of polygamy when it comes to the process of reproduction during the breeding season. What this means is that a male Himalayan tahr will procreate with multiple female Himalayan tahr in its breeding season.

Moreover, the Himalayan tahr is a competitive species when it comes to establishing a mate with male Himalayan tahrs often engaging in fights to establish authority over a particular female Himalayan tahr during the breeding season.

Their physical and genetic characteristics including their sizes, and the sizes of their horns play an important role in the process of choosing a mate.

Having engaged in reproductive intercourse, the gestation period lasts for 6-8 months. After the gestation period is over, the female gives birth to a single young Himalayan tahr.

What is their conservation status?

Himalayan tahr has been classified as a species that is Near Threatened by the IUCN, with respect to its conservation status.

Himalayan Tahr Fun Facts

What do Himalayan tahr look like?

In simple words, Himalayan tahr resembles a goat with plenty of fur. This species of goat have thick and curved horns which can grow as long as 18 in (45 cm).

Himalayan tahrs generally have a fairly tiny and elongated skull with tiny ears that point outwards and horns that are strongly placed on top of the head. Himalayan tahrs' eyes are large and almost popping.

However, these characteristics vary between male and female sexes of the species since Himalayan tahr is a sexually dimorphic species.

Males are generally double in dimension to females. All Himalayan tahr sport hefty coats of fur that are generally rusty brown in color.

The body of these wild animals also reserves the ability to shed fur when the weather starts becoming warmer. The most unique ability of Himalayan tahr is to cover rocky terrain, which is made possible by rubbery hooves with keratin rimmed hooves and short legs that allow them to balance properly.

Elongated skull with tiny ears himalayan tahr facts

How cute are they?

To look at, Himalayan tahr is fairly cute. Himalayan tahrs are almost as cute as regular cattle would be if it weren’t for their intimidating and longhorns that have the potential to cause serious injury.

How do they communicate?

Himalayan tahr (genus Hemitragus) generally makes use of visual cues to communicate danger or anything else to their flock. Himalayan tahrs also make use of vocal signals such as whistling cries to communicate alertness and so on.

How big is a Himalayan tahr ?

Himalayan tahr (genus Hemitragus) is a fairly big species of goats. The males of this species grow to a maximum length in the range of 3-5 ft (91.4-152.4 cm) with their female counterparts growing up to be almost half that size. Their height range on an average is around 2-3.5 ft (60-106 cm).

How fast can a Himalayan tahr run?

There are no specific details about the running speed of Himalayan tahrs (genus Hemitragus).

How much does a Himalayan tahr weigh?

The Himalayan tahr's weight is almost as much as an average male human being. Males weigh a maximum of 176 lb (79.8 kg), whereas females weigh about 88 lb (40 kg).

What are their male and female names of the species?

No specific names have been allotted to males and females of the Himalayan tahr species. Generally, males are referred to as Himalayan tahr males or a male Himalayan tahr, while females are known as Himalayan tahr females or a female Himalayan tahr.

Females are generally half the size of the males. An adult male has a full mane covering the neck and forequarters.

What would you call a baby Himalayan tahr?

The babies of Himalayan tahr are generally referred to as kids or young baby Himalayan tahr. The baby can stand-up and move around, shortly after being born. The young baby usually requires mother's milk for a period of six months after being born. They are dependent on mother's milk for this entire period of six months after birth.

What do they eat?

Himalayan tahrs' daily diet generally comprises grass, which is their favorite, along with leaves and shrubbery. Himalayan tahr is a complete herbivore when it comes to its diet. But sadly, these beautiful wild animals form a significant part of the diet of snow leopards, who never loses any opportunity in hunting these beasts.

Are they dangerous?

Himalayan tahr has the potential to be extremely dangerous if provoked or threatened since they are strong creatures, with strong legs and also strong, and elongated horns that they use to defend themselves from other wildlife. These majestic animals are subject to hunting by humans during the hunting season as well as hunting by predators for their food requirements.

Would they make a good pet?

No, Himalayan tahr would not make for a good pet since they require extremely rocky terrains and high altitudes to thrive. Moreover, they are part of a nearly extinct species that must be left alone in the wildlife.

Therefore, it would not be prudent to keep the Himalayan tahr as a pet. Their short legs and stocky body are suitable for survival in mountains and are not meant to be kept confined. Moreover, their food requirements are also quite typical and not suitable for a normal household.

Did you know...

Himalayan tahrs can flock in groups where the number of members is as large as 80 individuals.

The snow leopard is the most common predator for the Himalayan tahr owing to the fact that both these animals prefer high altitudes.

Himalayan tahr is a source of food for predators like snow leopards that live high up in the mountains.

How did tahr get to New Zealand?

In 1904, about 14 Himalayan tahrs were gifted by the Duke of Bedford to the government of New Zealand and since the tahrs secured a natural preferred habitat in New Zealand that was devoid of any predators, their population grew quickly and without any hindrance

Where are tahr found in New Zealand?

Himalayan tahr is most commonly found between Rakaia and Whitcombe valley, in Central Southern Alps.

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 golden jackal facts or greyhound facts.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our Himalayan tahr coloring pages.

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Written by Joan Agie

Bachelor of Science specializing in Human Anatomy

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Joan AgieBachelor of Science specializing in Human Anatomy

With 3+ years of research and content writing experience across several niches, especially on education, technology, and business topics. Joan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Anatomy from the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria, and has worked as a researcher and writer for organizations across Nigeria, the US, the UK, and Germany. Joan enjoys meditation, watching movies, and learning new languages in her free time.

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Fact-checked by Oluwapelumi Iwayemi

Bachelor of Science specializing in Systems Engineering

Oluwapelumi Iwayemi picture

Oluwapelumi IwayemiBachelor of Science specializing in Systems Engineering

Iwayemi is a creative content writer and editor studying for a Bachelor of Science specializing in Systems Engineering from the University of Lagos. He is skilled in research and has experience writing and editing content for different organizations.

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