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Himalayan tahr
Himalayan tahr
Scientific classificationEdit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Bovidae
Subfamily: Caprinae
Tribe: Caprini

Tahrs[a] (/tɑːrz/ TARZ, /tɛərz/ TAIRZ) or tehrs (/tɛərz/ TAIRZ)[1][2] are large artiodactyl ungulates related to goats and sheep. There are three species, all native to Asia. Previously thought to be closely related to each other and placed in a single genus, Hemitragus, genetic studies have since proven that they are not so closely related and they are now 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.[3]


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. Also, a population exists on Table Mountain in South Africa, descended from a pair of tahrs that escaped from a zoo in 1936,[4] but most of these have been culled.[5] As for the Nilgiri tahr, research indicates its presence to be in the mountain ranges of southern India. Totalling ~1400 individuals in 1998, its largest remaining population appears to survive between the Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala, where it may be vulnerable to poachers and illegal hunting.[6]


A routine of feeding during the morning followed by a long rest period, then feeding in the evening, constitutes the tahr's daily routine. Tahrs are not generally active or feed at night and can be found at the same location morning and evening.[7]


  1. ^ sometimes referred to as thars by confusion with the Himalayan serow (Capricornis sumatraensis thar)


  1. ^ "tahr". The Chambers Dictionary (9th ed.). Chambers. 2003. ISBN 0-550-10105-5.
  2. ^ "TAHR | Meaning & Definition for UK English | Lexico.com". Lexico Dictionaries | English. Archived from the original on May 18, 2021. Retrieved 2022-02-13.
  3. ^ Ropiquet, A. & Hassanin, A. 2005. Molecular evidence for the polyphyly of the genus Hemitragus (Mammalia, Bovidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 36(1):154-168
  4. ^ Irwin, Ron (September 28, 2001). "Time Running Out for Exotic Tahrs in Cape Town". National Geographic News. Archived from the original on October 4, 2001. Retrieved April 17, 2014.
  5. ^ Bamford, Helen (February 19, 2011). "Mountain rangers braai tahr". IOL News. Retrieved April 17, 2014.
  6. ^ Mishra, Charudutt; Johnsingh, A. J. T (1998-11-01). "Population and conservation status of the Nilgiri tahr Hemitragus hylocrius in Anamalai Hills, south India". Biological Conservation. 86 (2): 199–206. doi:10.1016/S0006-3207(98)00004-4. ISSN 0006-3207.
  7. ^ "Himalayan Tahr". Highland Wildlife Park. Retrieved 2020-04-08.