Feral Goat, Capra hircus


Short description of Capra hircus, Feral Goat

This species is the only goat likely to be encountered in the wild in GB.  Individuals vary greatly in pelage colour and pattern but most are grey, fawn or greyish-brown with paler patches.  Some are black, often with reddish on the back and hindquarters, and some are white.  Both sexes bear horns, those of males typically growing backwards and then outwards in a smooth curve.  Feral goats mostly resemble mediaeval forms of domestic goats.

Description of Capra hircus, Feral Goat status in GB

Feral goat populations have long been established in scattered locations in the west and north of GB.  They descend mostly from ancient breeds now extinct in domestication and may represent a unique genetic resource for improving the domestic animal.

Habitat summary: Capra hircus, Feral Goat

Most populations inhabit rocky moorland and associated woodlands.  At coastal locations and on islands, goats often graze on beaches and on sea cliffs.

Overview table

Environment: Terrestrial
Species status: Non-Native
Native range: Asia-Tropical, Middle Asia, United Arab Emirates, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Israel, Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, North Yemen, South Yemen
Functional type: Herbivore
Status in England: Non-Native
Status in Scotland: Non-Native
Status in Wales: Non-Native
Location of first record: first record is unknown (ancient)
Date of first record: Unknown

Distribution map

GB Distribution from NBN Atlas

Author's name:

John Marchant

Last updated:

November 27th 2015

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Thin strip of image show tree trunk and bark