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An Ultimate Ungulate Fact Sheet
Naemorhedus baileyi
Red goral
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Common name:
Scientific name:
Other names:
Red goral
Naemorhedus baileyi
Brown goral, Chi Ban Ling, Ra-mar

Physical Characteristics

Head and body length: 100 cm
Shoulder height: 60 cm
Tail length: 10 cm
Adult weight: 20-30 kg

The red goral is a bright foxy-red animal with long, soft, shaggy hair. A thin dark stripe runs along the spine from the head to the tip of the tail. The legs are the same rich red as the body, while the undersides are a lighter buff color. The black-colored tail is very short for a goral, but a long tuft of dark hair at the end may double its apparent length. The face is slightly lighter in color than the body, with a dark patch just above the nose. The light throat "bib" typical of gorals is either absent of poorly-defined in the red goral. The ears are relatively short. Both males and females have a pair of short, arcing horns. The horns of males tend to be longer and thicker than those of females, but lengths of 7.5-16 cm are typical for both sexes.

Similar species
  • The red goral is easily distinguished from other members of the genus Naemorhedus by its reddish coat - all other gorals are greyish-brown with grizzled hairs. The red goral is also the smallest goral, and has a greater curvature to its horns.
  • The similarly-colored red serow (Capricornis rubidus) is much larger than the red goral, with longer horns, coarser hair, and a distinct white throat bib.

Reproduction and Development

Gestation period: Approximately 6 months.
Litter size: 1
Weaning: At 3.5 months (in captivity)
Sexual maturity: 1.5 years for females, males at 3 years.
Life span: Up to 15 years.

Red goral tend to breed in late autumn and early winter (September to December). Births tend to occur in June and July, although some infants have been seen as early in the year as April.

Ecology and Behavior

Red goral are most active during the day, and tend to retreat to inaccessible cliffs at night, where they sleep on sheltered ledges. They are strong climbers and jumpers, and seek safety from predators by fleeing up cliffs. They can clear obstacles over 1.8 meters high from a standing start. Although generally quiet, males make a call which sounds like "zer - zer" during the breeding season; female red goral also whistle as males approach. Red goral typically inhabit a home range of around 40 hectares. Males are territorial during the breeding season.

Family group: Mostly solitary, sometimes in groups of up to three animals (usually a mother and her offspring).
Diet: Lichens, also grasses, stems, and leaves.
Main Predators: Leopard, jackal.

Habitat and Distribution

Red goral inhabit coniferous montane woodlands at high elevations (2,000-4,500 meters above sea level), utilizing meadows, cliffs, forests, and areas of scrub within this habitat. In the summer, they are found at higher altitudes, occasionally above the treeline. As winter snows arrive, the goral moves to lower elevations where the forests become mixed with deciduous trees. Their range is centered around the region where the border of China, India, and Myanmar meet. The approximate range is depicted in the map below.

Range Map
(Compiled from Fox and Johnsingh, 1997; Salter, 1997; Wang Sung et al., 1997)

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List: Vulnerable (2008)
CITES Listing: Appendix I (2009)
Threats: Hunting, habitat loss due to forestry operations.

Fewer than 10,000 red goral are believed to survive today. The actual number may be quite less: fewer than 1,500 red goral were thought to live in China - the largest part of the species' range - in 1998.

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