The Arabian tahr, Arabitragus jayakari, is listed as ‘Endangered’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. This relative of the wild goat is confined to the mountains of northern Oman and the United Arab Emirates.
The greatest threat to the survival of the species is the loss and fragmentation of its habitat, but illegal hunting and competition with livestock are also major concerns. In the United Arab Emirates, where the Tahr population is especially fragmented, conservationists fear that the results of inbreeding will increase susceptibility to disease and decrease fertility. In 2009, Wadi Wurayah Fujairah, was officially declared as the United Arab Emirates’ first protected mountain area.
In Oman, where the largest populations occur, they are well protected in the Wadi Sareen Nature Reserve under the Diwan of Royal Court. The Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs rangers protect populations in the Sharqiyah and the Western Hajar mountains. Several captive breeding programmes, however, experience in Oman has shown the Arabian tahr to be difficult to breed in captivity.