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Kidadl Team

SEPTEMBER 02, 2021

15 Siberian Ibex Facts You’ll Never Forget

Check out these interesting and fun Siberian ibex facts.

The wild goats with a long beard and bow-shaped horns, covered with transverse ridges, inhabiting steep mountain terrains are the ibexes. From several subspecies of ibexes – Bezoar ibex, Alpine ibex, Nubian ibex, Ethiopian ibex, Spanish or Iberian ibex, west and east Caucasian ibex – a Siberian ibex or Asiatic ibex (C. sibirica) is one of them.

The Siberian ibex, Capra sibirica, is also known as Altai or Gobi ibex. The history of Siberian ibex goes back to being considered a subspecies of Alpine ibex. The C. sibirica is known to be the longest and heaviest species from the genus Capra, generally distributed in regions of steep slopes. Based on the distribution, Siberian ibexes have several subspecies: the Capra sibirica sibirica (Siberian ibex, Mongolia, and Russia) found in the Sayan Mountains, Capra sibirica alaiana in the Alay range in Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan, Capra sibirica hagenbecki (Siberian ibex, Mongolian) generally located in western Mongolia, and Caprica sibirica sakeen (the Siberian ibex, Himalayan mountain goats).

The population of Capra sibirica (Siberian ibex) ranges throughout the western and central Alps, Austria, France, Switzerland, Germany, northern and western China, Afghanistan, northwestern India, Tajikistan, southeastern Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, northern Pakistan, and south-central Russia. While it prefers alpine habitats, it seeks shelter in regions with vegetation during the winter. Furthermore, the Siberian ibexes are recorded to spend much of their day eating.

If the uniqueness of the Siberian ibex makes you interested to read more about similar species, you can read about bontebok and duiker.

Siberian Ibex Interesting Facts

What type of animal is the Siberian ibex?

The Siberian ibex, Capra sibirica, is a wild goat with a long beard and bow-shaped horns. It was formerly considered a subspecies of the Alpine ibex. The species of Siberian ibex has four subspecies based on variations in the size, horns, and color of its pelage – Capra sibirica sibirica, Capra sibirica alaiana, Capra sibirica hagenbecki, and Caprica sibirica sakeen.

What class of animal does a Siberian ibex belong to?

The Capra sibirica (Siberian ibex) belongs to the class Mammalia, order Artiodactyla, family Bovidae, and genus Capra. More precisely, it is a species of ibexes found throughout central Asia.

How many Siberian ibexes are there in the world?

According to the search undertaken, the IUCN highlights that there is a presence of a healthy population throughout its range but there is no estimated number of the overall population living around the world. There are 70,000 individuals of Siberian ibexes recorded in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikstan, while the species is speculated to be at risk considering the practice of Kyrgyzstan Siberian ibex hunt. On the other hand, there are 2545 Siberian ibex in Pakistan and around 375 Siberian ibexes recorded in northern India.

Where does a Siberian ibex live?

The population of the Siberian ibex, Capra sibirica, lives primarily throughout central Asia. Furthermore, the search highlights that the species of Siberian ibex is precisely found in Afghanistan, China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. It is recorded between 6,562-16,404 ft (2,000-5,000 m) in spring and summer, while descends to lower slopes in winter, avoiding deep snow as it responds to seasonal variations.

What is a Siberian ibex's habitat?

While the habitat of the Capra sibirica (Siberian ibex) is a mixture of semi-deserts, meadows, and high altitude tundras, it lives in rocky scree, steep slopes, and above the tree line and vegetation line. While the distribution of ibex (Siberian) is controlled by variations in seasonal temperature and precipitation, it reportedly descends towards lower areas in winter avoiding deep snow, unlike during the summer.

Who do Siberian ibexes live with?

The Siberian ibex – isolated rarely – is found in herds, while the herd size varies from one sex to another. While the males and females are mostly recorded to live within the herd comprising species of same-sex except during the rut (breeding season), the mixed-sex herds are also recorded.

How long does a Siberian ibex live?

While the males live up to 10 years in the wild, the females are recorded to live around 17 years. On the other hand, the species from the family Bovidae are reported to live up to 22 years in captivity. Both the sexes have rings around their horns highlighting the annual growth of the Siberian ibexes.

How do they reproduce?

The period hospitable to the reproduction of the species of Siberian ibexes, from the family Bovidae, is known as a rut (breeding season). While males attain sexually mature age within 18 months while females initially breed in their second year. Many species, especially adult males, use scent-urination to communicate with females and attract them around the time of rut. Also, mature males join the females during the initial start of the rut. While the gestation period lasts 170-180 days, the ibex, female (Siberian), gives birth to one to three young species called a kid. Right from birth, the kid or the young offspring can jump around with alertness, but begin to consume its food post eight days of its birth.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of the Siberian ibex, from the family Bovidae and genus Capra, is listed to be Near Threatened under the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Siberian Ibex Fun Facts

What do Siberian ibexes look like?

The Siberian ibex inherits sexual dimorphism meaning the male is larger than the female with distinctive color and pattern. It also has a seasonal pelage. While the neck is short, the rib cage is comparatively larger. The horns of the females are thinner than the males but the size of the ear and tail is almost the same. Also, the horn is segmented by transverse ridges. Also, a dark-colored stripe runs along the back and also has darker brown patches on its head, shoulders, legs, and flanks. Furthermore, its underparts are darker and have a black short tail. Lastly, maturing males become darker with white patches and often turn black. Thus, a mature male is often referred to as a black Siberian ibex.

An ibex has a thick brown coat and dark patches, big horns, and a small black tail.

How cute are they?

With a wild appearance and having a comparative darker plumage, the species of Siberian ibex is not considered cute. However, the curved horns and a long beard are speculated to be some of the charming features or characteristics of the species.

How do they communicate?

The male and female species communicate during the breeding season, grooming their offspring, and signaling danger. While adults may use aggressive techniques like fighting with horns, the offspring communicate using scents, especially males.

How big is a Siberian ibex?

A Siberian ibex is considered to be one of the largest among its genus Capra. It is 51-65 in (130-165 cm) long and 26-43 in (67-110 cm) tall.

How fast can a Siberian ibex run?

The speed of a Siberian ibex remains undeciphered. On the other hand, species of ibex such as Bezoar ibex, Capra ibex, Nubian ibex, Ethiopian ibex, Spanish or Iberian ibex, Siberian ibex, west and east Caucasian ibex are known to jump up to 6 ft (1.8 m) without a running start.

How much does a Siberian ibex weigh?

The Albino Siberian ibex weighs between 75-290 lb (34-132 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

The males are called bucks, and females are known as does.

What would you call a baby Siberian ibex?

The Siberian ibex baby is often called a kid or billy.

What do they eat?

The Siberian ibex's diet is herbivorous. In summer, its diet comprises grasses and sedges. On the other hand, the Siberian ibex food in winter ranges from tall herbs, twigs, and needles of trees, especially, spruce, aspen, juniper, and willow.

Are they dangerous?

The Siberian ibex from the family do not possess any sort of danger neither portray aggressive behavior. However, males and females are speculated to engage in the competition for food and their partners among the herds. The behavior of the males is known to be quite possessive towards their partner and may lead to aggression, although, they neither harm humans nor the environment.

Would they make a good pet?

No, ibexes are wild goats better kept in wild. While there is documentation of ibexes being kept in captivity but under expert care.

Did you know...

The Siberian ibex moves to lower altitudes in winter to avoid deep snow.

Interestingly, the fine wool made using the hair of the Tibetan antelope – species related to Siberian ibex – in Urdu is called 'Shahtoos' meaning 'kings of wool'. Similarly, frequent Siberian ibex hunts are recorded to obtain the horn and coat for commercial purposes.

The Ladakh Scouts regiment of the Indian army – the 'Snow Warriors' or 'Snow Leopards' – has the ibex as its mascot.

The Alpine grasses, specifically, are the primary food of the Siberian ibex.

While both the sexes of ibex have horns and a beard, there are no search reports documenting whether the ibex shed its horns or not.

The conservation status of the Siberian ibexes is listed as Near Threatened. The population is at risk due to frequent hunting – either for the Siberian ibex horns and coat or for food. Also, another threat is its predators, including wolves, snow leopards, foxes, eagles, lynxes, and dholes.

Are ibex and goat the same thing?

The ibex and goat are closely related to each other but have pretty distinctive features and characteristics. An ibex is considered a wild goat.

What is the largest ibex?

According to search reports and references, the Siberian ibex is the largest ibex with the adult species weighing between 75-290 lb (34-132 kg) and length ranging from 51-65 in (130-165 cm).

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these argali facts or scimitar oryx facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Siberian ibex coloring pages.

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