Markhor , the national animal of Pakistan, a large specie of wild goat is an indigenous mammal of Afghanistan , Pakistan ( Gilgit Baltistan , Hunza Nagar Valleys and Kashmir regions ) , some parts of North India , Southern Tajikistan and Southern Uzbekistan. The Markhor is biologically known as Capra falconeri a noun which literally means “large Himalayan goat with large spiraled horns”. But it is commonly known as Markhor which is a Persian name and can be described as ; “Mar” means the snake and “Khor” means the eater. This name is given as some myth attributed to Markhor for its ability to kill the snake. Or some refer to it due to its amazingly curled around horns.
Physically Markhor can attain an approximate length of 140 to 190 cm and they can gain the weight from 35 to 100 KG. The shoulder height can be from 65 to 115 cm. The Male Markhor has longer horns and beard as compared to female. The length of the horns of male Markhor can be up to 160 cm while up to 25 cm in female Markhor. The Markhors sexually attract their females by their typical aroma. The Gestation Period of Markhors can be 135 to170 days. They are sexually mature at 18 to 20 months and their normal life span is between 12 to 14 years. The diet of Markhor include grass and leaves as they are general grazers like other wild goats. In the summer and spring season they can get their diet easily while in winter they browse for their nourishment.
The World Conservation Union ( IUCN ) has declared the Markhor in their endangered list. The Markhors are considered a scattered specie with uncertain distribution however they are found significantly in number in Pakistan where it is a highly-valued trophy species. The Government of Pakistan is issuing 2 to 3 licenses for trophy hunting and the trophy license is sold for as much as 18, 000 US $. The money is being spent for the welfare of the locals. This rare animal Markhor, the national animal of Pakistan is terribly in the danger of extinction. The illegal hunting , the US Afghan war effects and the use of sophisticated weapons is causing the removal of this wonderful specie from our lovely planet. The lust for getting their precious horns as a matter of prestige by the illegal hunters and negligence by the local authorities to preserve their natural habitat are the major factors that can result in the permanent deletion of the Markhors from the mother earth.
* Watch the following video , how this rarest specie is being killed by the hunters. We request through this forum to the Government of Pakistan to impose a complete ban on the hunting of Markhor , the national animal of Pakistan.