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Chinese Indigenous Wildlife --Takin

The Takin is an endemic animal of China. It is one of the rarest and  most endangered animals in the world.

The Takin (TAH-KIN) is one of the least-known and strangest-looking of all hoofed animals with horns. Takins hide in the fog-bound forests of China's central mountains, where pandas and golden monkeys roam. The elusive and odd-looking Takin remains a mystery to science. What we do know is the Takin is not related to Bison, Buffalo or Cattle, despite its ox-like build. Some think it related to the American mountain goat, and possibly the last of a line of forest muskoxen. The Takin's horns point up instead of down like the Arctic muskox. Altogether there are 4 sub-species of Takins in China , the Shaanxi Gold Takin and the Sichuan Gold Takin. Hopefully the other 2 sub-species will be open in the foreseeable future. Takins retreat to high altitude - near 10,000 feet - during summer, descending to the valleys in winter to find food. 

Takin, is a clever animal, it's said that it's the generation of Huangfeihu and five colours oxens.every summer and autumn, there are a lot of takin from all over the place to mountain. Combine a large breeding herds.
Body Length: 170-220 cm / 5.6-7.3 ft.
Shoulder Height: 100-130 cm / 3.3-4.3 ft.
Tail Length: 15-20 cm / 6-8in.
Weight: Up to 350 kg / 790 lb.

The plump, bovine-like body is covered with dense, long yellow to brown hair.  The short, stocky legs have broad hoofs and strong dew claws as an adaptation to their mountainous environment.  In profile, the face is convex with the nasal ridge arching outwards.  Both sexes carry strong horns that are 25-30 cm / 10-12 inches long, and curve out, backwards, and upwards at the tips.  The bases of the horns may have transverse ridges.
   According to discovering, always in daily morning and evening. When the sun rise,they can go into the bamboo forest in order to disturbing from gadfly.  lying on top to enjoy a mud bath; others just lay on the ground with the morning eat regurgitated food.
   In september, still is the most dynamic season of QinLing mountain .During this time,takins begin migrating to the low altitude, It is the most difficult for those takins. Some of them are very weakness, even leave beautiful world.
   Each spring, takins gather in large herds and migrate up the mountains .  As cooler weather approaches, and little food for them, the takins move down to forest valleys. As they move up and down, or across the mountains.
   In June or july every year, Is takins' behaving, mating, breeding period of most frequent, is also the best viewing takin .
There are different points of view on which taxonomy the Takin should belong to. From north to south in the distributional region, the color of the four subspecies of Takin, changes from light to dark colour, and the body size changes from large to small. The nasal bone becomes higher as the habitat increases in altitude, because of the air radiant intensity of the sun and other factors of ecology and zoogeography. Therefore the Takin should be 1 species and 4 subspecies. After comparing the size, bone, skull, teeth and chromosomes of Caprinae, Bovinae, Antiloponae, it is concluded to be an Ox-like sheep. The Takin and Muskox (Ovibos moschatus) both belong to "Ovibovinae" based on palaeo-zoology and structural characteristics. The first fossil Budorcas was found in Pliocene layer of Yueshe, Shanxi in China, it was named as a new species-"Budorcas teilhardi" (Teilhard de Chardin Young, 1936). And it was also found in Nihowan of Hebei Province. The subfossil was found in Anyang of Henan in the Holocene layer, it was named as a new subspecies- "Budorcas taxicolor lichii" (Young, 1948). The Takin originated from China of Asia. It is possible that it was living in the central and south-west part at early Pleistocene, and developed into various modern subspecies in Asia.

the Sichuan takin is straw-colored with splotches of gray-black on legs, back, and rump; and the golden takin is yellowish except for a black muzzle.-Herds of Sichuan takin in China’s Tangjiahe Reserve usually ranged in size from 10-35 with a maximum of about 100, animals generally being found on forested slopes at 1500-3000 m in elevation. Some adult males, singly and in twos, descended into valleys below 2000 m in September, remained all winter, and moved back up the slopes with the phenological stages of growth in April and May. Takin are generalist herbivores, primarily browsers. Of the 138 food species collected, most were forbs and leaves from shrubs and trees. Being large and robust, takin may push over or break saplings 8-10 cm in diameter to reach browse. Spring to autumn foods had a relatively high crude protein content(mean 10-17%), a moderately good essential amino acid balance (methionine is limiting ), and a high proportion of cell content (protein, starches, and other cell solubles) which, unlike the structural components of the cell wall(cellulose, lignin, and others),an animal can digest rapidly and almost completely. Winter food, by contrast, consisted mostly of twigs and of evergreen leaves from woody species which are low in protein(mean 7%) ,often high in secondary compounds, and otherwise of poor nutritive quality. Some animals lost condition on this diet and 2 old males died of malnutrition.

The Foping Takin belongs to the Shaan'xi subspecies, other members of the same species being found as far west as Bhutan. The local form is attractive and a soft pale brown. Their horns are thick and curled back but the general
impression of the face is soft and moose- like. They are browsers and can eat an incredible variety of herbs as well as the leaves of trees and shrubs.
Saplings are often bent over and broken in the course of feeding.

The more overgrown areas such as abandoned farmland or where regeneration
after logging is taking place seem to suit them well. They may also seen on grassland slopes in late spring in herbs of thirty or more. In the denser
forest it is more usual to see small herbs of six to eight animals.

Mating takes place in August when the herbs are high up on the alpine meadows
or in the rhododendron zone near the tree line (3000m). During the rutting
season, there is some competition between river rival males. Young maybe seen with their mothers in April. In May you may witness the rather extraordinary sight of one female looking after a group of several young calves while they rest of the herd make up for winter loss in weight by grazing the new grass.

Takin used to be hunted, shot and snared but are now fully protected and seem to be re-establishing themselves rather well; enjoying the protection that the reserve offers.

China Wildlife Tour

  • XAP-30 : 5 Days Crested Ibis and Terracotta Warriors tour
  • XQ-S-011 : 5 days Photography Tour A Wild Foping Golden monke
  • XQ-S-012 : 7 days Wild Panda Tracking Tour
  • XQ-S-010 : 3 days photographing wild Qinling Golden Takin