The spiral-horned goat, Capra falconeri (Wagner, 1839), is a rare species of fauna of the Republic of Tajikistan. Its habitat covers the mountains of East Pakistan, North-West India, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan and southern Tajikistan. The subspecies Capra falconeri heptner is widespread in Tajikistan (Tsalkin, 1945; Sokolov, 1959).
In Tajikistan, the distribution area is limited to low mountains of the south-western part of the country. It extends a narrow strip from the Kishvariston array adjacent to the right bank of the Pyanj river, the environs of the Sarigor and Iol tracts and further moves along the eastern slope of the Khazratishokh ridge and the south-western slope of the Darvaz ridge to the Rogak village.
In recent years, a small population of markhor (up to 15 heads) has been found on the Sarsarak Ridge (Amirov, 2016). The Tajik markhor is a narrowly areal subspecies in the world fauna and lives on the territory of Tajikistan and in very small numbers in the adjacent territories of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, as well as on the Kugitang ridge on the territory of Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
Markhor is included in the Red Book of the Republic of Tajikistan (2015, 2017) and in the International Red List of IUCN, as a species in critical condition (EN), is listed in the first CITES Convention Annex. In order to preserve this subspecies in Tajikistan, the Dashtidzhum Wildlife Sanctuary and the Dashtidzhum Reserve were created in the southern part of the Hazratishoh ridge, the south-western tip of the Darvaz ridge and in the Kishvariston mountains. The number of the markhor population protected here was about 574 heads in 2018, and 615 heads in 2019 (data of the State Specially Protected Natural Areas of the Forestry Agency of the Republic of Tajikistan). The last survey in 2017 showed that the number of markhor was 2337 heads. Due to the fact that this animal is a rare and endangered species, it is necessary to conduct an annual accounting of its number.
The Committee for Environmental Protection under the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan (CEP) in March 2018 initiated the annual large-scale registration of the number of the spiral-horned goat (markhor) in the south of the Republic of Tajikistan. The executive organization was the Association of hunters of Tajikistan, which provided the necessary funds for its implementation. Scientists and specialists from various organizations, departments, NGOs and hunting companies, as well as experts from international organizations participated in the work.
During the recording the number of markhor three groups were organized. Each group consisted of 4-5 specialists from different institutions and departments. The work was carried out on foot, the routes are not overlapped with each other.
The results of the survey of markhor population for 2018, by category
With the exclusion of double counting of the same herds of spiral-horned goats, the final analysis leads to the following total number: 2648 spiral-horned goats were recorded on a total area of 670,3 sq.km. The average population density was 3,95 heads per square km. This amount consists of 816 heads of young animals, 384 - year olds, 662 - females, 230 - males (2-3 years), 278 - adult males (older than 3 years) and 83 - unidentified animals. The number of adult males includes - 195 individuals of trophy age - from 8 years and older.
In 2019, carried out the internal national survey of the number of spiral-horned goat in the spring. Currently, accounting data is under the processing and upon its approval at the official level, a copy of the report will be sent to your address.