Alpine Ibex

Alpine ibexes can jump well, even when they are as young as two days old. This helps to ensure their survival in the mountainous terrain they inhabit.


The appearance of this species is influenced by the Alpine climate. Alpine ibexes will often seek out southern-facing slopes at lower altitudes during the winter, where food is easier to find. This is also when herds of females are joined by males. The sexes live separately for the rest of the year.


Distribution: Lives in the European Alps, from the border area between France and Italy, eastwards through Switzerland to Austria, at altitudes of 1600 - 3200 m (5100 - 10,200 ft).

Weight: 40 - 120 kg (88 - 264 lb); males can be twice as heavy as females.

Length: 90 - 200 cm (35 - 79 in), including tail.

Maturity: Females breed from 1 year; males from 2 years.

Gestation Period: Typically 165 - 170 days.

Breeding: Usually 1 kid, occasionally 2.

Food: Herbivorous, eating grass, flowers, moss, leaves and twigs.

Lifespan: 10 - 14 years.

Playful fighting

Males will often rear up and joust with their horns.


The male has ridges on the horns, which can grow to 100 cm (40 in) long.


Males over 7 years old develop a dark chestnut-brown winter coat.


The strength of these ibexes lies in the muscular power of their hind legs.