Markhors: Threats and Conservation


There are estimated to be fewer than 2,500 markhor remaining in the wild. The main cause of the decline has been excessive hunting, both for meat and for their horns. Armed conflict and the ready availability of weapons have precipitated extinction through much of its range.

In addition to being highly valued as a trophy species by sportsmen, the horns are also used for traditional medicine in the East Asian market.

Aside from hunting, the markhor is also threatened by habitat loss and competition for food with domestic livestock.


Since the mid-1990s, all trade in this species is officially prohibited without a permit.

Legal protection extends through much of its range, although enforcement is a problem in some areas.

One of the most successful conservation initiatives has been a trophy hunting program developed in Pakistan. Local communities are encouraged to conserve the markhor through economic incentives. A large percentage of the money generated by a small quota of legal trophy hunts goes to the local community. The program has been so successful that similar efforts are being considered in other parts of the markhor's range.

Source regarding Threats and Conservation: