Arabian Tahr

Scientific Name: (Arabitragus jayakari)


Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Cetartiodactyla

Family: Bovidae

Genus: Arabitragus



The Arabian Tahr is the smallest of the Tahr species. Both sexes have horns pointing backwards. The males are usually larger in size around 40 kg and have longer horns. The females are smaller and weigh between 17-20 kg. Their coats are long and shaggy. They have reddish-brown hair with a dark stripe going down the back. The Arabian Tahr has developed rubbery hooves that provide grip and traction on the steep rocky slopes and cliffs of its mountainous habitat. They also have well defined facial markings. Females are similar to males in appearance but have shorter hair and the dorsal crest and facial markings are not as clearly defined.



The Arabian Tahr is either solitary or in small groups. Males have territorial behavior that involves scratching of the soil with their hooves and marking it with dung or urine, ‘horning’ vegetation, and rubbing glandular secretions from the chest onto rocks as a form of scent-marking. Males are never seen together. Males sometimes have to travel long distances to find females to mate with since they don't travel in big herds or packs. They don't travel in big seasonal herds but as small dispersed family units. Births occur throughout the year and gestation periods last between 140 and 145 days. The Arabian Tahr feeds on leaves, fruits, and seeds of a range trees, shrubs, and grasses. They are highly dependent on a regular supply of water especially during the summer.


Habitat Range:

The entire Arabian Tahr population is located in the Hajar Mountains of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Sultanate of Oman. The current known population range is 8,863 square kilometers. The Arabian Tahr is typically found at high elevations between 1,000 and 1,800 meters. They are also on steep, north facing slopes where rainfall is pretty high and there is a diverse range of vegetation. It is thought that there is less than 5,000 animals left.

Population Range Map Link:


The Arabian Tahr is extremely endangered because of grazing competition from livestock, illegal hunting, and habitat loss through human development. Domestic livestock are eating too much of the vegetation around the habitat range so it is making it harder for the Arabian Tahr population to find enough food. Also people come into the protected zones and kill them for food, which is against the law. The biggest threat though is habitat loss. More urban development in Oman has lead to the Tahr losing more of its' natural habitat. The Tahr is also suffering from parts of their species being geographically isolated. Diseases being brought in by others animals is also contributing to their decline in population.



In 1973 efforts were initiated to protect the Arabian Tahr. In 1975 wide protection was granted for the Arabian Tahr over a wide range of the eastern Hajar Mountains of Oman. In 2009, Wadi Wurayah Fujairah, home of the Arabian Tahr and other endangered species, was officially declared as the United Arab Emirates’ first protected mountain area. There are now a three places involved in captive breeding of this species, one in Oman, and two in the United Arab Emirates. Another important step in the conservation effort is to help educate and inform people about the Arabian Tahr so that they don't go extinct.

Video Links:


Works Cited:
"Arabian Tahr (Arabitragus Jayakari)." Arabian Tahr Videos, Photos and Facts. Arkive, n.d. Web. 11 Apr. 2014. <>.

"Arabian Tahr." BCEAW: Arabian Tahr. Breeding Centre for Endangered Arabian Wildlife, n.d. Web. 11 Apr. 2014. <>.

"Arabitragus Jayakari." (Arabian Tahr). IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, n.d. Web. 11 Apr. 2014. <>.

Emmitt, Alexander. "Animal Diversity Web." Animal Diversity Web. Animal Diversity Web, n.d. Web. 11 Apr. 2014. <>.

"WWF - Arabian Tahr Gets Royal Protection." WWF. WWF Global, 28 Apr. 2009. Web. 13 Apr. 2014. <>.

Jeremy Garling