ASIATIC IBEX/Behaviour, Distribution, Habitat, Size, Weight, IUCN stetus



DESCRIPTION: A large mountain goat with close relatives in Central Asia and Europe, the Himalayan Ibex male is easily told apart from other caprids by his characteristic horn and beard. Females are brownish grey in colour, have thin parallel horns and dark markings on their legs. Both sexes have a dark dorsal stripe. The dense coat of the male is brownish in summer. From autumn to spring, males are dark brown or black with a dull white saddle on the back that is divided by the dorsal stripe. Another whitish patch can develop at the base of the neck. The male has distinctive thick, scimitar-shaped horns that diverge and curve backwards. The front face of the horn is flattened and has thick horizontal ridges much like the crown of teeth; yearlings are like females, with a small beard and short, spike-like horns. Class I males are larger, with longer beard, and horns bearing five ridges on average. Class II males are larger still and have 6–7 ridges on the horn. Class III males have full adult pelage, long beard and 8–9 ridges on the horn. Class IV males have huge horns of over 64 cm, bearing more than 10 ridges.
BEHAVIOUR: The Ibex does not always migrate to lower heights in winter and mostly stays at fairly high altitudes using windblown ridges. Unlike most other caprids, the Ibex is known to dig craters through snow to access forage in winter.
DISTRIBUTION: Trans-Himalayan region of Ladakh and the Greater Himalayas and Pir Panjals of Jammu & Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. The eastern limit seems to be the Bara-lacha La Pass on the north and the Sutlej Gorge south of the Great Himalayan Range in Himachal Pradesh. In the trans-Himalayas, occurs from the rugged tracts of Hindu Kush, Karakoram, Zanskar, through Lahaul and Spiti, up to the Sutlej gorge in Himachal Pradesh. The southernmost populations may occur south of the Pir Panjal Range in Manali WLS in Himachal Pradesh.
HABITAT: Steep crags above the treeline in the Himalayas up to 5,500 m. In the Himalayas, frequents 3,400–4,400 m while in the trans-Himalayas frequents 4,000–4,725 m. In the trans Himalayas frequents dry grassland steppe.

Size: 83–132 cm 

Wt: 40–130 kg 

IUCN Status: Least Concern


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