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Ibex (English: Ibex) is a species of wild goat that follows the genus (Capra) and family Bovidae, and order Artefacts, and is found in the mountains of northeastern Africa, Europe and Asia.[١]

The ibex is distinguished by many things, such as: its long horns curved backwards and forming a semicircle, its long beard and its cloven hooves. They are herbivorous animals, their height from the hoof to the shoulders varies from ( 30-170) centimeters, and their weight varies between (30-120) kilograms.[٢]

Types of ibexes

There are several types of dollars, including the following:

alpine ibex

The Alpine ibex lives at altitudes close to the permanent snow line, and in winter it descends to lower altitudes. The height of the male Alpine ibex reaches (90) centimeters and its weight is (100) kilograms, while the height of the female reaches (90) centimeters, and the weight is (50) kilograms.[١]

The color of the fur covering the body of the Alpine ibex is greyish brown, darker in the lower regions, and it is a common animal throughout the western and central Alps, but its numbers are declining sharply and it is currently protected locally in the Italian Alps.[١]

Siberian ibex

The Siberian ibex is found in western and northern China, central and northern Asia, Afghanistan, northwestern India, southeastern Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, eastern Uzbekistan, Mongolia, northern Pakistan and south-central Russia.[٣]

The hair color of the Siberian ibex is light brown, and in winter the color of mature males becomes much darker, and white spots appear on the back and neck. The horns of males are huge and curved backwards, and they curl more than once, while in females they are smaller and curved slightly backwards.[٣]

spanish ibex

The Spanish ibex is endemic to the Iberian Peninsula and lives in areas over (800) meters above sea level, it prefers to live in wooded forests with many conifers and dense, shady trees that protect it from the sun in times of summer. intense heat. Its color is grayish brown.[٤]

Its height from the hoof to the shoulder varies between (65-75) centimeters, while the length of the horn in males can reach (75) centimeters or more, and it is curved backwards and wrapped, and its weight varies between (35-80) kilograms.[٤]

Nubian ibex (Nubian ibex)

The only species of ibex that lives in hot desert environments and is endemic to the mountainous regions of western Jordan, Palestine, northeastern Sudan, northern Ethiopia, western Eritrea and parts of western and central Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Oman.[٥]

The height of the Nubian ibex varies between (61-76) centimeters and its weight is (25-66) kilograms. The length of the antlers of the males reaches (122) centimeters and is curved in a semicircle, while the horns of the females do not exceed (36) centimeters in length.[٥]

Walia ibex (Walia ibex)

Among the critically endangered species, it is endemic to the mountains of Ethiopia and its weight ranges between (80-125) kilograms. The number of ibexes and walia experienced a significant decrease between (1920-1970) due to overfishing in order to obtain meat, leather and horns which are used to make drinking utensils.[٦]

Due to the exploitation of its natural habitats in agricultural and development projects, the few remaining numbers of this species are currently found in the Simien Mountains National Park.[٦]

The habitat of the ibex

Ibex or wild goats live in the mountainous regions of continental Europe, northern Africa and north-central Asia.[٧]

The Nubian ibex lives in the African and Arabian mountains, because it can withstand the hot and dry climate, and it is mentioned that the highlands are a suitable environment for the ibex in general, and it is a herbivore, which means it eats plants such as shrubs and grasses, and therefore it needs to graze in these areas to get its food.[٧]

On the other hand, the ibex living on the slopes reduces the risk of predators reaching it, as the ibex can live at altitudes ranging from 2500 to 4500 m, such as in the slopes of the Ethiopian highlands.[٧]While the European ibex prefers to live at altitudes close to snow, but in winter it changes places to lower and warmer altitudes, and it is present throughout the western and central Alps, and its numbers have now decreases.[٨]

Elk Adaptation

The body of the ibex is adapted to live on the rocky slopes in the high mountains, so its short summer fur is replaced by long hairs that hide thick fur underneath to warm its body during the harsh winter in the mountains, and its legs front are slightly shorter than its hind legs, allowing it to climb mountain slopes with grace.[٩]

In addition to its small, hard hooves, which are rough below and widen when walking on flat surfaces, and its strong body tendons which allow it to easily jump between vertically rising rocks, and maintain its balance in the narrowest and most rugged places. places,[٩]

As for the Nubian ibex, it has adapted to live in hot and dry areas thanks to its shiny coat which reflects most of the sun’s rays and protects it from the rain, in addition to its agility and speed of movement. which make it difficult for predators to reach it.[٥]

Behavior and reproduction of ibexes

Ibex live in separate herds, so the males are in a separate herd from the female and offspring herd, and the females and males only meet during the mating season, and the number of females varies between ( 10-20) individuals, while some older males prefer to separate from the herd and live alone.[٢]

The male ibex secretes a special scent to attract the females and entice them to mate, and the two males compete to win the female and start abutting, after which the winning ibex begins courting the female for a period of up to half an hour before mating.[٢]

Female ibexes carry (1-3) embryos, and the gestation period lasts between (147-180) days, the young begin to move and jump immediately after birth, and the young are weaned after four to six months, but they stay with the mother for a whole year, and the females reach the age of maturity which qualifies them for pregnancy when they reach (2-6) years old, and the ibexes can live in the wild for a period up to (17) years.[٢]

Elk migration

Ibex migrate in spring to the mountains in search of growing grasses, and they migrate in winter when snow accumulates on the heights; Then it moves towards the south-facing slopes, which are characterized by containing a lower snow rate and a higher food rate,[١٠] As summer approaches, the ibexes migrate north, where some of them may travel 966 km to reach suitable grazing areas.[١١]

When temperatures increase in some areas where ibexes exist, such as the Alps and the Arctic, this animal moves to higher areas and slopes, since ibexes do not tolerate many high temperatures, and it is believed that temperatures above 15-20 degrees Celsius can make the Alpine ibex uncomfortable.[١٢]

the critic

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