|Facts and Knowledge:
The alpine ibex, a wild goat, lives at high altitudes in the Alps and other mountainous regions of central Europe. Once almost hunted to extinction, it is now protected in reserves. A swift and nimble climber, the alpine ibex leaps with ease from crags to rocky ledges. Both male and males alpines ibexes have large gnarled, scimitar shaped horns, though the males are longer and heavier.
Habits: The alpine ibex lives in groups of either adult males or females and their young for the most of the year. Males and females only join. Males and females only join during breeding season when dominant males from harems of females. Active during the day, the ibex feeds high up in the mountains and also moves to lower pastures to graze. In summer it lives at higher altitudes than in winter, when lack of food drives it down to more plentiful areas. When danger threatens, the alpine ibex climbs nimbly up into the rocks to hide. It may fight predators such as wolves, lynxes, bears, jackals, and foxes with it large horns when cornered. Its well developed senses of sight and hearing, and smell help it to avoid danger.
Breeding: Mating accurs in fall and early winter. The rut ( a period of intense mating related activity among males) lasts about 10 days. The male alpine ibexes perform fight rituals but do not injure each other; the winners form harems of mature females for breeding. The strongest males with the largest horns gain superiority and can build the largest harems with 12 or more females and one or two old, non productive males. After gestation period of 170 days, one or two kids (baby ibexes) are born. The female feeds the kids until t he next fall, and the offspring can graze at one month. The females and their young live together in groups, with young males leaving when they reach maturity.
Food & Feeding: The alpine ibex feeds through out the day on shrubs and trees. It often stands on it hind legs to reach leaves, twigs and tender shoots. It also grazes on grass flowers and low growing plants in high alpine meadows. If food is scares, the ibex moves to lower, wooded valleys at dusk to feed.
Key Facts: Sizes, Weight, breeding, lifestyle, related Species
Shoulder Height:2 21/4 ft
Related Species: Closely related to the
Siberian ibex, Capra sibirica, and Nubian ibex, C. numbiana
Features of the Alpine Ibex:
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