Alpine Ibex, a Species Rock Climbing Wild Goat

Alpine Ibex, A Species Rock Climbing Wild Goat

The Alpine Ibex is a species of wild goat that lives in the Alps. This goat is famous for its toughness when climbing cliffs.

This animal can climb steep and rocky cliffs with agility. This is very different from goats in general.

In the Gran Paradiso National Park and the neighboring Vanoise National Park across the French border, the goat is a major icon.

These goats can be found in most or all of the Italian and French Alps, southern Germany, Switzerland, and Austria.

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Alpine Ibex Body Characteristics

At first glance, this goat is similar to goats in general. However, the horns are longer and grow upward in a slightly curved direction.

The horns on females are slightly shorter, smoother, and more curved than those on males. These horns function as a means of self-defense against predators.

This goat can grow to a length of around 1.5 meters, a height of around 1 meter, and a weight of around 122 kg. Male ibex are usually larger and heavier than females, and male ibex also have beards.

The fur of this animal is short and smooth, and the color varies depending on the season. In winter, it is covered in reddish brown fur, while in summer, its fur becomes brownish gray.

These goats have a unique hoof structure, which helps them climb cliffs or steep terrain.

Alpine Ibex Habits 

In autumn, male Alpine Ibex live isolated and can be very aggressive. For ibex, periods of increased activity are at sunrise and sunset, while during the day they often prefer to be in the shade.

In winter, they live at moderate heights on steep cliffs, facing south. As spring and summer approach, ibex climb to the highest areas of their habitat and stay there until autumn.

This animal is an herbivore, its main food is grass, flowers, bushes, springs, and other plants.

Alpine Ibex Mating Habits

The Alpine ibex is polygynous, that is, one male can mate with several females. These animals begin to reproduce in late autumn.

Males will fight to decide who will mate with a group of females. The winner in this fight is allowed to mate with 10 to 20 females.

The female’s gestation period lasts about 6 months, after which a female gives birth to a child, usually in May. The cubs are very active, and as soon as they come out of their mother’s womb, they start jumping around.

The cubs join a group of other children during their first month of life. After 4–6 months, they are weaned.

The Alpine ibex reaches reproductive maturity at the age of 8 months to 1 year, but only begins to reproduce at the age of 2 or 3 years.

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Habitat and Population

The Alpine ibex’s habitat is rocky areas along the snowline above mountain forests. In this area, the terrain is steep, with heights between 2,000 – 4,600 meters.

Females rely more on steep terrain than males. Males make greater use of lowland grasslands during the spring, which is when the snow melts and green grass appears.

Females and males then hike to alpine pastures for the summer. When winter comes, both sexes move to steep, rocky slopes where there is little snow.

According to the IUCN Red List, the total population size of the Alpine ibex is 53,000 individuals. Currently, the Alpine ibex is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List, and its numbers are stable.


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