Budorcas taxicolor (Hodgson, 1850)
Range: Western China, India, Myanmar, Bhutan
Habitat: Alpine Forests and Meadows
Diet: Leaves, Grasses
Social Grouping: Small Family Herds, Older Males Solitary
Reproduction: Mating takes place July-August, single calf born after 7-8 month gestation period. Young are sexually mature at 30 months of age.
Lifespan: 15 Years
Conservation Status: IUCN Vulnerable, CITES Appendix II
- Body length 1.7-2.2 meters, 1-1.3 meters tall at the shoulder, weight up to 350 kilograms. Males are larger than females
- Stocky body with short, thick legs, large head has long, arched nose (somewhat resembling that of a moose) and stout curved horns (in both sexes) about 60 centimeters long. The coat is long and shaggy, tan in color with a dark stripe along the back.
- Migrate seasonally from mountain slope meadows in the summer (where they can congregate into large herds) to forested lowlands in the winter
- Not very quick runners, but able climbers. When threatened, give a cough-like alarm cry, which causes the herd to run into dense vegetation and lay down in the bamboo. Predators include bears and wolves.
- Little studied due to the remoteness of their habitat; possible threats are habitat loss and competition and diseases from introduced livestock. In China, takin have benefited from protection they receive by sharing their habitat with giant pandas.
- Have a great need for salt, and will travel great distances to obtain it
- Four subspecies are recognized, varying in coat color - the golden (B. t. bedfordi), Sichuan (B. t. tibetana), Mishimi (B. t. taxicolor), and the Bhutan (B. t. whitei)
- It has been suggested that "The Golden Fleece" of Greek mythology, sought after by Jason and the Argonauts, may have been the coat of a golden takin
- "Takin" is the Tibetan name for the animal. The Latin name translates as "Badger-Colored Ox-Gazelle"