The West Caucasian tur predominantly lives in single sex herds, typically containing several dozen individuals (2). Only during the mating season, or rut, which extends from November to early January, do mixed herds form, and continue to live together for up to two months after the rut ends (6). After a gestation period of 150 to 160 days (6), a single young, or ‘kid’, is born, weighing 3.5 to 4.2 kilograms. For around ten days after the birth the female will hang back from the rest of the herd, using her horns to protect the kid (2). The West Caucasian tur lives for up to twelve years (2).
The West Caucasian tur is most active from late afternoon until early morning, when it emerges from cover to start grazing (6). The diet of the West Caucasian tur contains over a hundred different species of plant, primarily grasses. In the winter, foraging is made harder by the snowfall and the tur may be seen using its hooves to scrape away snow to reach the vegetation buried below, or must rely on shrubs and trees for food. The West Caucasian tur is also known to visit salt licks all year-round for natural minerals (2).
The West Caucasian tur undertakes seasonal migrations, moving up to 2,000 kilometres up or down the mountain slope (2). In winter, when deep snow blankets the higher parts of the mountain, the West Caucasian tur struggles to walk, making it vulnerable to predators and exhaustion (6), so it migrates down the slope to escape these harsh conditions. In spring, when the snow begins to thaw at higher altitudes, the tur migrates back up the mountain, to exploit growing vegetation and flee biting insects (2).