The Alpine Ibex (Capra ibex) was at one time considered to include three subspecies: the Alpine Ibex (C. i. ibex), found in Switzerland, southern Germany, Liechtenstein, Austria, northern Italy, and southeastern France and introduced to northwestern Slovenia and Bulgaria; the broadly distributed Siberian Ibex (C. i. sibirica), found mainly in China, Central Asia, and Mongolia; and the Nubian Ibex (C. i. nubiana), found in Egypt east of the Nile River, northeastern Sudan, Israel, western Jordan, Saudi Arabia, southwestern Oman, southeastern Yemen, and possibly Eritrea. These taxa are now generally treated as three full species (C. ibex, C. sibirica, and C. nubiana).
The Alpine Ibex occurs mainly at elevations of 1600 to 3200 m in alpine and subalpine habitats, but can use open forests in rocky terrain associated with ledges, cliffs, and precipitous valleys.
This species was on the verge of extinction in the 1800s, but a protected population remained in northern Italy and animals from this population were used to re-establish the species in the Alps of Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Germany, and France. There are now over 22,000 animals in free-ranging populations and controlled hunting is allowed in Switzerland, Austria, Liechtenstein, and Slovenia.
(Valdez 2011 and references therein)
- Valdez, R. 2011. Alpine Ibex (Capra ibex). Pp. 722-723 in: Wilson, D.E. and Mittermeier, R.A., eds. Handbook of the Mammals of the World. Volume 2. Hoofed Mammals. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.
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