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An Ultimate Ungulate Fact Sheet
Capricornis rubidus
Red serow
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Common name:
Scientific name:
Other names:
Red serow
Capricornis rubidus

Physical Characteristics

Head and body length: 140-155 cm
Shoulder height: 85-95 cm
Tail length: ~8-16 cm
Adult weight: 110-160 kg

The coarse pelage of the red serow is a distinctive reddish-brown color. The undersides are whitish. A thin dark dorsal stripe runs along the spine from the shoulders to the tail. The top of the neck has a mane of longer hairs which can be erected when excited. The face has no distinctive markings, but large preorbital glands are present in front of the eyes. A white patch beneath the jaw extends to a white bib at the top of the throat. The ears are long and pointed; conical, backward-curving horns are found in both sexes, growing 15-25 cm long (they tend to be longer and thicker in males).

Similar species
  • The reddish color of this species readily distinguishes it from the other black, gray, or dark brown Capricornis species. Some authors, however, suggest that Indian populations of red-colored serow actually belong to C. thar; this situation has not been resolved.
  • The smaller red goral (Naemorhedus baileyi) is found in the same region as the red serow, but it is much smaller and and more compact. Gorals also have smaller horns and lack a neck mane.

Reproduction and Development

Gestation period: ~7 months.
Litter size: 1.
Weaning: ~5-6 months.
Sexual maturity: Females at ~30 months, males at ~30-36 months.
Life span: 10-20 years.

Ecology and Behavior

Nothing is known specifically about the ecology of the red serow, but it is likely similar to other serow species. Serow tend to be most active in the morning and late afternoon or early evening. Caves and overhanging cliffs may be used for shelter. Serow are generally sedentary, and the preorbital glands may play a role in territorial marking. When alarmed, serow vocalize with a loud whistle or a snort.
Family group: Likely solitary or in small groups of 2-5 individuals.
Diet: Grass, shoots, and leaves.
Main Predators: Leopard, dhole, eagles.

Habitat and Distribution

The red serow is found in hilly tropical forests in northeastern India (south of the Brahmaputra River), Bangladesh (east of the Jumuna River), and northern Myanmar. Populations from India and Bangladesh, although reddish in color, may belong to either C. rubidus or C. thar. The approximate range is depicted in the map below.

Range Map
(Adapted from Duckworth & MacKinnon, 2008 and Duckworth & Than, 2008)

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List: Near threatened (2008)
CITES Listing: Appendix I (2010)
Threats: Habitat loss and hunting.

There are no current estimates for the wild population of red serow.

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