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Himalayan tahr
Scientific classification
In part


Tahrs [lower-alpha 1] ( /tɑːrz/ TARZ, /tɛərz/ TAIRZ) or tehrs ( /tɛərz/ TAIRZ) [1] [2] are large artiodactyl ungulates related to goats and sheep. There are three species, all native to Asia. Previously thought to be closely related to each other and placed in a single genus, Hemitragus, genetic studies have since proven that they are not so closely related and they are now considered as members of three separate monotypic genera: Hemitragus is now reserved for the Himalayan tahr, Nilgiritragus for the Nilgiri tahr, and Arabitragus for the Arabian tahr. [3]



While the Arabian tahr of Oman and the Nilgiri tahr of South India both have small ranges and are considered endangered, the Himalayan tahr remains relatively widespread in the Himalayas, and has been introduced to the Southern Alps of New Zealand, where it is hunted recreationally. Also, a population exists on Table Mountain in South Africa, descended from a pair of tahrs that escaped from a zoo in 1936, [4] but most of these have been culled. [5] As for the Nilgiri tahr, research indicates its presence to be in the mountain ranges of southern India. Totalling ~1400 individuals in 1998, its largest remaining population appears to survive between the Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala, where it may be vulnerable to poachers and illegal hunting. [6]


A routine of feeding during the morning followed by a long rest period, then feeding in the evening, constitutes the tahr's daily routine. Tahrs are not generally active or feed at night and can be found at the same location morning and evening. [7]


  1. sometimes referred to as thars by confusion with the Himalayan serow (Capricornis sumatraensis thar)

Related Research Articles

Himalayan tahr Species of even-toed ungulate

The Himalayan tahr is a large even-toed ungulate native to the Himalayas in southern Tibet, northern India, western Bhutan and Nepal. It is listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List, as the population is declining due to hunting and habitat loss.

Western Ghats Mountain range along the western coast of India

The Western Ghats or the Western Mountain range is a mountain range that covers an area of 160,000 km2 (62,000 sq mi) in a stretch of 1,600 km (990 mi) parallel to the western coast of the Indian peninsula, traversing the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the eight biodiversity hotspots in the world. It is sometimes called the Great Escarpment of India. It contains a very large proportion of the country's flora and fauna, many of which are endemic to this region. According to UNESCO, the Western Ghats are older than the Himalayas. They influence Indian monsoon weather patterns by intercepting the rain-laden monsoon winds that sweep in from the south-west during late summer. The range runs north to south along the western edge of the Deccan Plateau and separates the plateau from a narrow coastal plain called Konkan along the Arabian Sea. A total of 39 areas in the Western Ghats, including national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and reserve forests, were designated as world heritage sites in 2012 – twenty in Kerala, ten in Karnataka, six in Tamil Nadu and four in Maharashtra.

Caprinae Subfamily of mammals

The subfamily Caprinae, also sometimes referred to as the tribe Caprini, is part of the ruminant family Bovidae, and consists of mostly medium-sized bovids. A member of this subfamily is called a caprine, or, more informally, a goat-antelope.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Nilgiri tahr</span> Species of mammal

The Nilgiri tahr is an ungulate that is endemic to the Nilgiri Hills and the southern portion of the Western and Eastern Ghats in the states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala in southern India. It is the state animal of Tamil Nadu. Despite its local name, it is more closely related to the sheep of the genus Ovis than the ibex and wild goats of the genus Capra. It is the only species in the genus Nilgiritragus.

<i>Hemitragus</i> Genus of mammals

Hemitragus is a genus of bovids that currently contains a single living species, the Himalayan tahr. Two extinct species are also known from the Pleistocene.

Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve International biosphere reserve of India

The Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve is a biosphere reserve in the Nilgiri mountains of the Western Ghats in South India. It is the largest protected forest area in India, spreading across Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala. It includes the protected areas Mudumalai, Mukurthi, Nagarhole, Bandipur, Silent Valley National Park, and Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary, Wayanad, Karimpuzha and Sathyamangalam wildlife sanctuaries.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Fauna of India</span> Native animals of India

India is the world's 8th most biodiverse region with a 0.46 BioD score on diversity index, 102,718 species of fauna and 23.39% of the nation's geographical area under forest and tree cover in 2020. India encompasses a wide range of biomes: desert, high mountains, highlands, tropical and temperate forests, swamplands, plains, grasslands, areas surrounding rivers, as well as island archipelago. Officially, four out of the 36 Biodiversity Hotspots in the world are present in India: the Himalayas, the Western Ghats, the Indo-Burma region and the Sundaland. To these may be added the Sundarbans and the Terrai-Duar Savannah grasslands for their unique foliage and animal species. These hotspots have numerous endemic species. Nearly 5% of India's total area is formally classified under protected areas.

Mukurthi National Park

Mukurthi National Park (MNP) is a 78.46 km2 (30.3 sq mi) protected area located in the western corner of the Nilgiris Plateau west of Ootacamund hill station in the northwest corner of Tamil Nadu state in the Western Ghats mountain range of South India. The park was created to protect its keystone species, the Nilgiri tahr.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gangotri National Park</span> Indian national park

Gangotri National Park is a national park in Uttarkashi District of Uttarakhand in India, covering about 2,390 km2 (920 sq mi). Its habitat consists of coniferous forests, alpine meadows and glaciers. Gaumukh at Gangotri glacier, the origin of river Ganga, is located inside the park. Gangotri National Park was established in 1989.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Eravikulam National Park</span> National park in India

Eravikulam National Park is a 97 km2 national park located along the Western Ghats in the Idukki and Ernakulam districts of Kerala in India. Situated between 10º05'N and 10º20' north, and 77º0' and 77º10' east, it is the first national park in Kerala.

Arabian tahr Species of mammal

The Arabian tahr is a species of tahr native to eastern Arabia. Until recently, it was placed in the genus Hemitragus, but genetic evidence supports its removal to a separate monotypic genus, Arabitragus.

Nilgiri Mountains Mountain range in Tamil Nadu, India

The Nilgiri Mountains form part of the Western Ghats in northwestern Tamil Nadu, Southern Karnataka, and eastern Kerala in India. They are located at the trijunction of three states and connect the Western Ghats with the Eastern Ghats. At least 24 of the Nilgiri Mountains' peaks are above 2,000 metres (6,600 ft), the highest peak being Doddabetta, at 2,637 metres (8,652 ft).

India is home to a large variety of wildlife. It is a biodiversity hotspot with its various ecosystems ranging from the Himalayas in the north to the evergreen rain forests in the south, the sands of the west to the marshy mangroves of the east. India lies within the Indomalayan realm and is the home to about 7.6% of mammal, 14.7% of amphibian, 6% of bird, 6.2% of reptilian, and 6.0% of flowering plant species. India's forest lands nurture about 500 species of mammals and more than 2000 bird species.

Grizzled Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuary Wildlife sanctuary in Tamil Nadu, India

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Eastern Himalayan alpine shrub and meadows Ecoregion in the Eastern Himalayas

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<i>Land of the Tiger</i>

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Himalayan serow

The Himalayan serow, also known as the thar, is a subspecies of the mainland serow native to the Himalayas. It was previously considered its own species, as Capricornis thar. It is the official state animal of the Indian state of Mizoram.

New Amarambalam Reserved Forest

New Amarambalam reserved forest is a reserved forest in the Western Ghats, situated in the Malappuram District of Kerala state of India. It extends till Silent Valley National Park of the Palakkad District to the south and to Nadugani in the Nilgiri District of Tamil Nadu to the North. It is under the Karimpuzha Wildlife Sanctuary.

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Uma Ramakrishnan is an Indian molecular ecologist and professor at National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), Bangalore. Her research investigates population genetics and evolutionary history of mammals in the Indian subcontinent, including work to save India’s tigers. In July 2019, she was elected as a fellow to the Indian National Science Academy.


  1. "tahr". The Chambers Dictionary (9th ed.). Chambers. 2003. ISBN   0-550-10105-5.
  2. "TAHR | Meaning & Definition for UK English | Lexico.com". Lexico Dictionaries | English. Archived from the original on May 18, 2021. Retrieved 2022-02-13.
  3. Ropiquet, A. & Hassanin, A. 2005. Molecular evidence for the polyphyly of the genus Hemitragus (Mammalia, Bovidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 36(1):154-168
  4. Irwin, Ron (September 28, 2001). "Time Running Out for Exotic Tahrs in Cape Town". National Geographic News. Retrieved April 17, 2014.
  5. Bamford, Helen (February 19, 2011). "Mountain rangers braai tahr". IOL News. Retrieved April 17, 2014.
  6. Mishra, Charudutt; Johnsingh, A. J. T (1998-11-01). "Population and conservation status of the Nilgiri tahr Hemitragus hylocrius in Anamalai Hills, south India". Biological Conservation. 86 (2): 199–206. doi:10.1016/S0006-3207(98)00004-4. ISSN   0006-3207.
  7. "Himalayan Tahr". Highland Wildlife Park. Retrieved 2020-04-08.