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Capricornis swinhoei

Capricornis swinhoei (*)

Cladus: Eukaryota
Supergroup: Opisthokonta
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Classis: Mammalia
Subclassis: Theria
Infraclassis: Placentalia
Superordo: Cetartiodactyla
Ordo: Artiodactyla
Subordo: Ruminantia
Familia: Bovidae
Subfamilia: Caprinae
Genus: Capricornis
Species: Capricornis swinhoei


Capricornis swinhoei Gray, 1862


* Capricornis swinhoei on Mammal Species of the World.
* Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference, 2 Volume Set edited by Don E. Wilson, DeeAnn M. Reeder
* IUCN link: Capricornis swinhoei Gray, 1862 (Vulnerable)

Vernacular names
English: Taiwan Serow
Polski: Serau tajwański


Formosan Serow, also known as Taiwan Serow (Capricornis swinhoei or Naemorhedus swinhoei) is a small bovid endemic to the main island of Taiwan.[1]

Physical Characteristics

Its torso length is 80 to 114 centimeters and weighs 25 - 35 kilograms.[2] Its tail is short, which measures about 6.5 cm.[1] Its color is dark tan with yellow spots on the jaw, throat and nape.[3]

Both sexes bear horns that curve slightly backward and measure 10-20 centimeters in length. The horns are conical in shape and are never shed.[1] In taxonomy, if the horn is solid and is shed and regrown every year, these horned animals are classified as Cervidae, such as Formosan Sika Deer and Formosan Reeves's Muntjac. On the other hand, if horn is hollow and is permanent structure, they are classified into Bovidae. Formosan Serow belongs to the latter and are classified as bovids. Formosan serow is the only native bovid of Taiwan.[3][4]

Life Style and Behavior

They are highly vigilant and not easy to observe. However, you can easily find their feces in Yushan National Park. At sunrises or sunsets, you can find them eating in the woods singly or in small numbers. They generally eat the leaves below the shoulder height, or vines, ferns, shrubs, or herbs on the ground. In addition, they need to absorb salt. So, you can find them licking minerals deposited on cliffs or rocks.[5]

Taiwan serows can jump as high as 2m and run as fast as 20 km per hour. Among all mammals in Taiwan, they are the best high jumpers. They can be found at an elevation as low as 50 meters, but is mostly seen at 1000 meters or up to 3500 meters.[6] Their habitats include conifer forest, mixed broad-leaved forests, and the steep slopes of bare rocks and gravel cliffs. You can sometimes spot them on top of Nanhu Mountain (南湖大山), Hsuehshan (雪山), Yushan (玉山), and Siouguluan Mountain (秀姑巒山). They also live in the Taroko National Park. Their hoofs separate to two sides and can easily hold on to rocks on steep slopes. They are also good tree climbers. They are solitary and territorial, which use tears to smear branches or stones as markers.[5]


September to November is Taiwan Serow's mating season. Their gestation period lasts about seven months. Calves are delivered between next year's March and June. Usually it gives birth to one calf. Sometimes it can deliver twin. New born calves can stand on their own in just a few hours. Three-months old calves can feed by themselves, but can still be nursed by mothers. Males do not take care of calves. From six-months to one-year old, calves gradually separate from mothers and live independently. They grow to sexual maturity in two to three years and can live up to approximately 15 years.[5]

Protected Species

Since 1989, Formosan Blue Magpies were listed as rare and valuable species (珍貴稀有保育類) and protected by Taiwan's Cultural Heritage Preservation Law (Traditional Chinese: 文化資產保存法). The main threats to the Formosan serow are habitat destruction and harvesting.[7]


1. ^ a b c "Capricornis swinhoei: Formosan serow". Ultimate Ungulate. 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-21.
2. ^ "Mammals of Taiwan: Artiodactyla". Travel Taiwan Information Center. 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-21. [dead link]
3. ^ a b "Alpine Tundra Areas: Fauna". Government Information Office. 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-21.
4. ^ "A Formosan serow (Capricornis crispus swinhoei) fights for life". National Parks of Taiwan. May 20 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-21. [dead link]
5. ^ a b c 徐佩霜 & 李培芬 (August 2001). "台灣長鬃山羊". National Taiwan University. Retrieved 2008-12-21.
6. ^ "Capricornis crispus swinhoei". National Taiwan University. 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-21.
7. ^ Chiang, P.J. & Pei, K.J (2008). "Capricornis swinhoei". IUCN Red List. Retrieved 2008-12-21.

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Source: Wikipedia, Wikispecies: All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License