Markhor Definition | Characteristics & Facts



Markhor Definition

Markhor is a large wild goat species found in mountainous regions of Central Asia. It is known for its distinctive twisted horns and is considered a symbol of many Asian countries' wildlife and cultural heritage.

Markhor General Characteristics & Facts

Sure, here are some general characteristics and facts about the Markhor:

Physical Characteristics

Markhors are large and sturdy goats, with males being larger than females. They have a long, shaggy coat that varies in color from light gray to brown, with a darker dorsal stripe along the back. Both males and females have twisted horns that can grow up to 160 centimeters (63 inches) in length.


Markhors are native to the mountainous regions of Central Asia, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. They inhabit steep and rocky terrain, often found at elevations of 600 to 3,600 meters (2,000 to 12,000 feet) above sea level.


Markhors are mainly diurnal, meaning they are active during the day. They are excellent climbers and can easily navigate the rugged landscape of their habitat. During the mating season, males engage in impressive displays to attract females, which can include head-butting and loud vocalizations.


Markhors are herbivores, and their diet primarily consists of grasses, leaves, shrubs, and other vegetation found in their mountainous habitat.

Conservation Status

They face threats from habitat loss, human-wildlife conflict, and illegal hunting for their horns, which are highly valued in some traditional cultures.

Cultural Significance

Markhors hold cultural significance in many Asian countries, where they are considered a symbol of pride and wildlife heritage. They are also the national animal of Pakistan.Conservation


Various conservation organizations and government initiatives are working to protect the Markhor and its habitat. Community-based conservation programs involving local communities have shown promise in helping conserve this majestic species.

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Physical Characteristics of Markhor

Certainly! Here are some physical characteristics of the Markhor:

  1. Size: Markhors are large goats, with males being significantly larger than females. Males typically weigh between 90 to 110 kilograms (200 to 240 pounds), while females are smaller, weighing around 45 to 65 kilograms (100 to 140 pounds).
  2. Coat: Markhor has a long and thick coat that varies in color. The general body color can range from light gray to brown, and they have a lighter underbelly. Their coat is often marked with dark spots and a dorsal stripe along the back.
  3. Horns: Both males and females have horns, but the male's horns are much larger and more impressive. The horns are twisted, and they can grow up to 160 centimeters (63 inches) in length. They are used by males during mating displays and can be used in territorial fights.
  4. Facial Features: Markhors have a distinctive facial profile. They have a square-shaped head with a pronounced muzzle. Their ears are relatively small and pointed, and they have a beard-like tuft of hair under their chin.
  5. Adaptations: Their body shape and adaptations are well-suited for their mountainous habitat. They have strong, muscular legs that allow them to climb steep and rocky terrain with ease. Their hooves are broad and have a rough texture, providing them with good traction on slippery surfaces.
  6. Mane: Male Markhors often have a thick mane of hair on their neck and shoulders, adding to their impressive appearance during the breeding season.
  7. Tail: Their tail is relatively short, measuring around 10 to 15 centimeters (4 to 6 inches) in length.

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Scientific Classification of Markhor

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Artiodactyla

Family: Bovidae

Subfamily: Caprinae

Genus: Capra

Species: C. falconeri

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Key Location of Markhor

Key locations of Markhor include:

  • Pakistan
  • Afghanistan
  • Tajikistan
  • Uzbekistan
  • Turkmenistan

Markhor FAQs

What does Markhor eat?

  • Grass
  • Leaves
  • Herbs
  • Fruits
  • Shrubs
  • Moss
  • Lichens
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