Forest, Wildlife & Environment Department Government of Gilgit-Baltistan

Astore Markhor

About Astore Markhor

The markhor (Capra falconeri) is one of the largest and most magnificent members of the Caprinae or goat family, and it is the official “National Animal of Pakistan.” It has perhaps the most impressive horns of the family, with huge, spiraled, twisting horns that are either straight or flaring in outline depending on the subspecies. Markhor are incredible climbers, scaling cliffs with ease and even climbing into oak trees to feed on leaves. Threats include intense hunting pressure, increasing competition from domestic goats and sheep, and disease outbreaks from the increased contact with livestock.

Key Facts

common name
Tail Lenght
8CM - 20CM
140CM - 180CM
20KG - 80KG
12-13 YEARS

Astore Markhor Features

Physical characteristics: Brown bear has furry coats in shades of blonde, brown, black, or a combination of these colors. The longer outer guard hairs of the brown bear are often tipped with white or silver, giving a ‘grizzled’ appearance. Their heads are large and round with a concave facial profile, a characteristic used to distinguish them from other bears. Like all bears, brown bears are plantigrades and can stand up on their hind legs for extended periods of time. Males are 40-50% larger than females. Brown bear is extremely strong and have good endurance; they can kill a cow with one blow, outswim an Olympian, and drag a dead elk uphill.

Habitat and Ecology: The Himalayan brown bear, a subspecies that represents an ancient lineage of the brown bear, is distributed over the Great Himalaya region. Seven populations of brown bears may exist in Himalaya-KarakoramHindu Kush ranges. All of these populations are small and declining, except for the Deosai population which is growing. The DNP has long been recognized as the main stronghold of brown bears in the country. Brown bears occupy a variety of habitats, from desert edges to high mountain forests and ice fields. The main habitat requirement is some area with dense cover in which it can shelter by day.

Threats: Recreational activities, Garbage and solid waste, illegal hunting, human disturbance, habitat loss, and competition for forage with domestic livestock.  

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