Serow Goat - a Japanese National Treasue

Japanese Serow digging for food in winter.In spring and summer when the trees are in leaf, it's very rare to see this animal, the Japanese Serow. It is an ancient species endemic to Asia, it's closest relatives are members of the goat family. The Mainland Serow is a larger animal and found in more tropical latitudes.

Calves stay with their mothers for a year or so, but as adults they are mostly solitary.

In winter the Serows move out the forest and forage on the southern slopes warmed by the winter sun. On these slopes, where there is slightly less snow, they dig for whatever they can find to eat.

They have regular pathways through their territory which they mark by glands just below the eye - a strong smelling vinegar scent is used. Both males and females mark objects. There are spots in the territory reserved for resting and for defecation.

Japan has given the animal 'national treasure' status, which has meant that population numbers have increased.

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