East Caucasian tur
|East Caucasian tur|
|Subspecies:||C. c. cylindricornis|
|Capra caucasica cylindricornis
East Caucasian turs stand up to 1 m (39 in) tall at the shoulder and weigh around 60 kg (130 lb). They have large but narrow bodies and short legs. They generally have a dark chestnut coat in winter and a lighter chestnut coat in summer. Males have slightly lyre-shaped horns which reach around 90 cm (35 in) in length, while in females they are much smaller (30 cm or 12 in maximum).
Distribution and habitat
The species range is restricted to the Greater Caucasus Mountains, roughly extending from Mt. Shkhara (Georgia) in the west to Mt. Babadag (Azerbaijan) in the east. The western edge of the range of the East Caucasian tur remains unclear, as it overlaps with that of West Caucasian tur (Capra caucasica). Most of the species populations avoid human disturbance and occur in extremely rugged, open terrain around 3,000 m asl. In areas with no or little human disturbance, turs occur in gentler and much lower terrain. A fragment of a land with optimal terrain, climate, and degree of human disturbance for the species' occurrence is more likely to contain the species if the area of the fragment is larger and its distance to the species nearest source population is shorter.
Mating and young
Breeding occurs from late November to early January, with births taking place in May and June, giving them a gestation period of only around 150 days. Young turs are extremely agile, being able to scamper about steep slopes after only a day of life. They generally start sampling grasses after one month, but continue to suckle for two to four months.
Feeding and migration
During the warm months, feeding occurs at intervals throughout the late afternoon, night, and morning, with the hottest hours of the day being spent resting in sheltered places. In winter, herds may remain in open pastures throughout the day, alternately grazing and resting. Daily movements may cover 15 to 20 km (9.3 to 12.4 mi).
There is a seasonal migration covering a vertical distance of 1,500 to 2,000 m (4,900 to 6,600 ft), with an upward thrust in May and a retreat downwards in October. The solitary adult males generally inhabit higher altitudes than groups of females and their young, descending to join them in the breeding season. During this time, vigorous competitions arise as they vie for mating rights. In protected areas, the density of animals varies between 5 and 16/km2.
- Weinberg, P. (2008). Capra cylindricornis. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 1 April 2009. Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is of near threatened.
- Gavashelishvili, A. (2004). "Habitat selection by East Caucasian tur (Capra cylindricornis)". Biological Conservation 120 (3): 391–398. doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2004.03.014.