Monday, May 28, 2012

Bharal

Pseudois nayaur
The Bharal is one of those animals that goes by many different common names. Nabo, Naur, and Himalayan Blue Sheep are all some of the different monikers given to the species. Why so many names? Well, the Bharal lives in Central and East Asia, so different countries with different languages refer to the animal in different ways.

Bharal live in the Himalaya Mountains, as well as in other mountainous regions of China. They can be found at altitudes of between 10,000 and 18,000ft. They graze on the mountain slopes, and their grey coats give them excellent camouflage against predators. If they feel threatened, the Bharal stand perfectly still, blending in with the rocks. If that defensive tactic doesn't work, they can scamper up the cliffs with their sure-footed hooves before trying to blend in again. Of course, they can't always escape from predators. They make up a huge portion of the Snow Leopards' diet, and it is estimated that the Leopards consume between 11% and 24% of the Bharal population every year.

The rutting season lasts from November to January, and during that time males will chase and fight each other for the right to mate with the females. The calves are born 5-6 months later. Both male and female Bharal have horns, but those of the male larger.

It is believed that the Bharal are common in their range, which is why they are listed as being of Least Concern. It is, however, difficult to monitor their population due to their remote habitat and high elevation lifestyle. They do occur in several National Parks.

IUCN Status : Least Concern
Location : North America
Size : Height up to 3ft (90cm)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Mammalia -- Order : Artiodactyla
Family : Bovidae -- Genus : Pseudois -- Species : P. nayaur

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