Clumsy, but sure footed
Japanese serows look clumsy and slow when they walk, but they are actually sure-footed and steady. They easily negotiate the steep, rocky slopes in their mountainous habitat. When they are not eating, serows seek shelter in caves and under rock ledges.
Back off, this is my space
Territory is serious business for serows. If a serow has its own territory, it also has a guaranteed source of food. Both male and female serows mark their territories with a scent gland located in front of their eyes, called a preorbital gland. Male and female territories overlap, but if a male serow encounters another male, or a female encounters another female in its territory, things get aggressive. During conflicts, opponents chase each other and cause serious injury with stabs from their sharp horns.
Making more serows
Female Japanese serows usually mate with only one male, but some males mate with two, and occasionally three, females in the same breeding season. The rut, or breeding season, runs from September to November and young are born the following May or June. Fawns spend their first year with their mothers and then go off to fi nd their own territories when they are between two and four years old. Sometimes female serows inherit their mother’s territory.
At a Glance
25 – 140 kg (55 - 308 lb)
60 – 90 cm (2 – 3 ft) at shoulder
Subalpine forests of Japan and Taiwan.
Herbivore. Japanese serows eat evergreen leaves, plant shoots and acorns, but only in the early morning and late afternoon.