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Tahrs are three species of large Asian artiodactyl ungulates related to the wild goat. Until recently the three species were believed to be closely related and were placed in a single genus, Hemitragus. Genetic studies have proven that the three tahrs are not as closely related as previously thought. Now they are considered as members of three separate monotypic genera; Hemitragus is now reserved for the Himalayan Tahr; Nilgiritragus for the Nilgiri Tahr; and Arabitragus for the Arabian Tahr.
While the Arabian Tahr of Oman and the Nilgiri Tahr of South India both have small ranges and are considered endangered, the Himalayan Tahr remains relatively widespread in the Himalayas, and has been introduced to the Southern Alps of New Zealand where it is hunted recreationally. There is also a population on Table Mountain in South Africa, descended from a pair of tahrs which escaped from a zoo in 1936, but most of these have been culled.
A routine of feeding during the morning followed by a long rest period, then feeding in the evening, constitutes the tahrs daily routine. Tahrs are not generally active or feed at night and can be found at the same location morning and evening.
- Ropiquet, A. & Hassanin, A. 2005. Molecular evidence for the polyphyly of the genus Hemitragus (Mammalia, Bovidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 36(1):154-168
- Irwin, Ron (September 28, 2001). "Time Running Out for Exotic Tahrs in Cape Town". National Geographic News. Retrieved April 17, 2014.
- Bamford, Helen (February 19, 2011). "Mountain rangers braai tahr". IOL News. Retrieved April 17, 2014.
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