It's Not a Goat, It's a Japanese Serow!

Our Observation of the Week is this Japanese Serow (Capricornis crispus, カモシカ in Japanese), seen in Japan by @tuohinopsakki!

“If you ever happen to be in Tokyo and have a day to spare, I really recommend checking out Okutama and the Chichibu-Tama-Kai National Park,” says Julius Eerola. “Both are accessible easily from central Tokyo by local train. Perfect trip to get away from the hustle and bustle of the largest city in the world for a while.”

Julius, who’s from Finland, was visiting Japan in January 2019 (he’d also studied at the University of Tokyo when he was younger) and was hiking with some friends when he saw the amazing mammal you see above. They were on the Okutama Mukashi Michi (Old Okutama Road) which 

is about 9 kilometres long and runs along an abandoned railroad. It starts from the Okutama village and ends at the huge Ogouchi Dam. On the road we spotted many interesting animals, like Japanese Macaques and a Mountain Hawk-Eagle, though sadly I didn't get a nice picture of them.

When we arrived at the dam, we took a walk over it. Since the dam is massive in size, the view on it is great. When we arrived on the other side of the dam, we noticed this goat-like animal walking on the rocks near the water surface. I was confused, I had never seen an animal like that before. We took many pictures of it, and turns out it was a Japanese Serow. I feel really happy that we were able to see it from such close distance.

More closely related to goats than it is to cows, the Japanese Serow is endemic to forested areas of Japan (primarily Honshu) and stands at about 70–75 centimeters (28–30 in) at the shoulder, with both sexes sporting short horns. Hunting reduced the species’ total population to about 2,000-3,000 individuals before it was declared a “Special Natural Monument” by the Japanese government. It’s now considered of “Least Concern” by the IUCN and subject to culling in some areas.

Julius tells me he’s always been into nature. 

I grew up in Finland surrounded by abundant forests, which isn't rare around here. I'm especially interested in birds and bugs. Currently I work as an archaeologist, and my nature related hobbies really help in that line of work. People in the past had such a strong connection to nature, that it is absolutely necessary to understand the natural world and its phenomena in order to understand the people themselves.

I joined iNaturalist only about a month ago, when I discovered the site through the internet service of Finnish Biodiversity Information Facility. I had to join instantly. Since then I've been absolutely overwhelmed how great the service and community are. Even though I use the site mostly as my personal nature diary, I have already learned so much through it.


- Here’s some footage of a Japanese Serow walking about.

- The Finnish Biodiversity Information Facility is iNat’s partner for iNat Finland, which joined the iNaturalist Network last May.

Posted by tiwane tiwane, August 10, 2021 20:09

Comments

Nice find @tuohinopsakki

Looks like a Bovid-Raccoon hybrid (:

Posted by biocowboy 4 months ago (Flag)

Nice, I have seen them several times in Japan but they usually runs so fast and I didn't have time to photograph them.

Posted by glycymeris 4 months ago (Flag)

What a crazy looking criitter! Great shots.

Posted by lisa_bennett 4 months ago (Flag)

Yes, really fabulous and strange!

Posted by susanhewitt 4 months ago (Flag)

What a great find! Nature is indeed full of wonderful surprises. Thanks for sharing!

Posted by lonniemiller 4 months ago (Flag)

That's cool! Dog-pig-goat!

Posted by tadamcochran 4 months ago (Flag)

Thanks for sharing.

Posted by demetrius5 4 months ago (Flag)

It's really strange but amazing! Love the way he moves.

Posted by patrich 4 months ago (Flag)

Nice find and great photos. Thanks for Sharing.

Posted by hameeda 4 months ago (Flag)

I was surprised to find this photo on the website Why Evolution is True today. https://whyevolutionistrue.com/2021/08/12/thursday-hili-dialogue-345/

Posted by sedgequeen 4 months ago (Flag)

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