Getting Wild With the Markhor

By ELIAH TAPIA, age 10

PHOTO: Josh More
PHOTO: Josh More

The markhor, also referred to as the Capra falconeri, is a type of wild goat that is found in the Middle East. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the markhor was classified as endangered until 2015, when its status was changed to near threatened due to a population increase of 20 percent.

Most people know markhors because of their beautiful, twirled horns. Poachers hunt them for body parts including horns, tails and fur. However, the Save Our Species project, put into effect by the Wildlife Conservation Society, is developing a conservation program in Pakistan to help protect the markhor, its national animal.

Did you Know?

  • These animals spend their lives in rocky terrain, caves and places with steep cliffs.
  • Markhor horns are used in traditional medicines.
  • The markhor has a record horn length of 60 inches.
  • The markhor forages 8-12 hours a day.
  • Female markhors can weigh 70-90 pounds.
  • Male markhors can weigh 180-240 pounds.

Glossary of Terms:

Forage: To search for food.
Endangered: A species that is vulnerable to extinction.
Near Threatened: A species that may be considered vulnerable to extinction in the near future.

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