What do we call markhor in English?

The markhor is known in English as the “screw-horn” or screw-horned goat. It is the national animal of Pakistan. The word mārkhor comes from Urdu and Persian. It means “snake-eater”. This references the ancient belief that the markhor kills and eats snakes. The markhor has flaring horns that can reach five feet long. Historically, markhors were hunted mainly for meat. Today, there are less than 2,500 left in the wild. Markhors live on mountains at 600 to 3,500 meter heights. They are found in Northern Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. They are active early and late in the day. Markhors are herbivores that stand on hind legs to reach vegetation. They fall prey to wolves, leopards and humans. About 2,000-4,000 markhors remain worldwide.

Is markhor a snake eater?

The name “Markhor,” translating to “snake eater” in Persian, symbolizes protection and resilience. This connotation aligns with the spirit of Pakistan. Markhors live in mountains. They stand on hind legs to reach vegetation. Despite large size, markhors are skilled climbers. They climb trees and cliffs to forage and evade predators. Markhor coats come in few colors. The word “markhor” means “snake killer”. There’s no evidence of them eating snakes. Locals believe markhor spit has antivenom properties. Markhors were overhunted, facing extinction in 1990. Now they are near threatened. They remain the national animal of Pakistan.

Is a markhor a predator or prey?

The markhor is a large wild goat found in the mountains from Kashmir and Turkistan to Afghanistan. Markhors have majestic corkscrew-shaped horns, a long beard and are referred to as the ‘screw-horned goat’. Markhor facts include:

Habitat: Himalayan Mountain Range around or above the tree line.

Location: Northern India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Turkestan.

Predators: Eurasian lynx, snow leopard, Himalayan wolf and brown bear are the main predators. The golden eagle has been reported to prey upon young markhor.

Markhors possess keen eyesight and a strong sense of smell to detect nearby predators. They are very aware of their surroundings and are quick to spot and flee from predators in exposed areas.

Females use their horns to protect their young from predators like the golden eagle.

Hunting and poaching have reduced the markhor population. In 2015, the markhor was removed from the Endangered species list and downgraded to Near Threatened.

The total population size of the markhor is estimated to be 5,754 mature individuals. Conservation efforts are needed to protect this unique and iconic animal.

Which country has the most markhor?

The markhor is heavily associated with Pakistan, where the largest numbers of the animals are found. The single largest population resides in Pakistan’s Chitral National Park, with over a thousand currently. The markhor is often not an animal that people in the west are familiar with. They may not have the symbolic charisma of the lion but they are important both literally and emblematically.

Markhors are large animals with thick fur coats varying from reddish-brown to gray. The most distinctive feature is the impressive horns which can grow up to 5 feet in males and 2 feet in females, used for defense and dominance. They inhabit high wooded mountains of Northern Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Pir Panjal in India.

In 1994 the IUCN listed them as endangered due to overhunting. However recent data shows 5,000-6,000 in the wild. They occupy arid habitats at 700-4,000 m altitudes. In spring and summer they graze on grass tussocks. When dried up they browse leaves and twigs, foraging 8-12 hours daily except for rest hours midday.

The Kashmir Markhor has a critical population. Adults of this breed are heavier than other Markhors, 39-41 inches tall. Their herds mostly contain adults. Males are largely introverted. Females and kids form most of the herds. They have sharp senses to detect predators, being vigilant against them. They are good climbers, escaping from predators like snow leopards, wolves and eagles which can catch young ones too. Approximately 2,500 are left in the wild due to hunting and habitat loss.

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