Himalayan tahr

Himalayan tahr

Hemitragus jemlahicus

Common name:

Himalayan tahr

Scientific name:

Hemitragus jemlahicus

Alternative common names:


The Himalayan tahr has become a common exotic mammal on Table Mountain and the Cape Peninsular and is causing substantial damage to the region’s sensitive fynbos vegetation. Shoulder height 80-100cm. Looks similar to a goat, but has a long shaggy coat. Colour varies from fawn-brown to light pale. Both males and females have stout, backward-curving horns. Native to the Himalayan Mountains in Asia.

Additional Information

Where does this species come from?


What is its invasive status in South Africa?

NEMBA Category 1b

Where in South Africa is it a problem?

Western Cape, particularly on Table Mountain and the Cape Peninsular

How does it spread?

Successful coloniser of mountain terrain

Why is it a problem?

The increased population of the Himalayan tahr has damaged fynbos, causing soil and rock erosion.

What does it look like?

Description: Goat-like, with a long, dense reddish to dark brown, shaggy coat. Weight 135-180kg and length 120-170cm, both sexes are horned.
Habitat: The Himalayan tahr inhabits steep rocky mountain sides. It is diurnal, and lives in small groups of 2-20 individuals.
Breeding: Mating occurs from October to January. One or occasionally two kids are born in June and July after a gestation of 180-242 days depending on delayed implantation. The age at sexual maturity is 1.5 years.

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