The Markhor is the official national animal of Kyrgyzstan. The Markhor was entitled as the official Kyrgyzstan national animal. Capra falconeri is the scientific name of Markhor, which is also known as the screw horn goat. The wild goat Markhor have been divided into five subspecies such as; Kashmir Markhor (Capra falconeri cashmiriensis), Astor Markhor (Capra falconeri falconeri), Bukharan Markhor (Capra falconeri heptneri), Sulaiman Markhor (Capra falconeri jerdoni), and Kabul Markhor (Capra falconeri megaceros). The national animal of Kyrgyzstan Markhor, which is found in the range of northeastern Afghanistan, northern and central Kyrgyzstan, Northern India, Southern Tajikistan, southwestern Turkmenistan, and Southern Uzbekistan and in the Himalayas. Kyrgyzstan’s national animal Markhor is the well accepted to the people of Kyrgyzstan that is the reason to designate as the official national animal of the country. The World Conservation Union (IUCN) has declared the Markhor in their endangered list.
National animal of Kyrgyzstan Facts
- Common Name: Markhor
- Scientific Name: Capra falconeri
- Color: The males Markhor are light brown to black in color while the females are reddish-colored coat, which is short and soft during the summer that turns to long and thick during the winter. The lower legs fur is black and white.
- Length: Length can be the range from 140 to 190 cm.
- Height: Height is at the shoulder from 65 to 115 cm.
- Weight: weight range from 35 to 100 KG.
- Diet: As an herbivorous animal Markhor diet based on the grass throughout the spring and summer, while they eat leaves, flowers, herbs, fruits, twigs and shrubs are mostly consumed during the autumn and winter. They rehearse food and chew it several times to ready it for intestinal digestion.
- Cubs: The female markhor are usually giving birth of one or two kids, which may rarely three after a gestation period of 135–170 days,
- Behavior: Males are lonely while the females are very social and form herds that contain 8 to 9 individuals. This herd is significantly smaller than the herds of Capra ibex and Capra aegagrus. Males have temporarily joined in herd during the rutting season.
- Lifespan: The lifespan of ewes 10–14 years and for rams is usually 9–12 years.
Predators: Human is the main predators of markhors. They are also preyed on by Himalayan lynx, snow leopards, wolves, and panthers.
Kyrgyzstan’s national animal Markhor, which is a Persian name that can be described as; “Mar” means the snake and “Khor”, means the eater. There is some myth that accredited to Markhor for its capability to kill the snake. The color of males Markhor is light brown to black while the females are reddish-colored coat, which is short and soft during the summer that turns to long and thick during the winter. Males have long hirsute hair on the chin, throat, chest and upper part of the legs, while females are redder in color, with shorter hair, a short black beard, and are maneless. The Markhor have tightly curled, corkscrew-like horns, which close jointly at the head that extend upwards on the way to the tips. The length male’s horns are bigger than the females; it can grow up to 160 cm (63 in) long, while females horns can grow up to 25 cm (10 in). The males have a strong smell that exceeds than the domestic goat.
The national animal of Kyrgyzstan, Markhor is an itinerant animal. They move to find new areas, which provide adequate food. The Markhor migrate during the winter period, toward the lower altitudes to flee from the tremendously low temperatures and be short of food. As a nocturnal animal they had hidden in dense vegetation in the daytime. Markhor lives in the separate group of males and females. During the mating season they are united. From late autumn to early
winter the mating season of Markhor takes place. Males fight to prove their dominance and get the opportunity to mate. Gestation lasts around 210 days, with one to three two lambs born in April.