There may be less than a couple of thousand wild yaks left in the wild.

They travel great distances seeking lichens, mosses, grasses, and herbs to eat.

Their large hooves help them to walk in snow and dig for food.

Well-adapted to cold climate, they fare poorly in warmer places.

Excessive hunting for its meat and coat have imperiled the species.

Millions of much smaller domesticated yaks are commonly used for heavy labor, such as pulling carts; for milk and meat; and as a source of wool, which is processed from their pelage.

Animal Facts

Name: Yak (Bos grunniens)

Family: Bovidae (Cattle and Relatives)

Range: Tibet

Habitat: Plateaus at 13,500 to 20,000 feet (4,100 to 6,100 m)

Diet: Grass, herbs, mosses and lichens

Head and Body Length: 8 to 11 feet (2.5 to 3.3 m)

Tail Length: 20 to 31.5 inches (51 to 80 cm)

Shoulder Height: 5.6 to 6.6 feet (1.7 to 2 m)

Weight: 1,600 to 2,200 pounds (730 to 1,000 kg)

Life Cycle: Mating September to October; gestation 250 to 260 days, one calf born

Description: Brown to black, extremely shaggy outer coat; dense undercoat of soft, matted hair; long horns that curve upwards; high, humped shoulders; bushy tail

Conservation Status: Vulnerable

Major Threat(s): Poaching; habitat loss

What Can I Do?: Visit WWF China for information on how you can help.