Fun Iberian Ibex Facts For Kids

Christian Mba
Nov 17, 2022 By Christian Mba
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Fact-checked by Oluwapelumi Iwayemi
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Iberian Ibex facts on the species of wild goat native to Spain.

The ibex is related to the buffalo, antelopes, cattle, bison sheep, and goats. There are a total of five species of ibex namely, Capra ibex - alpine abex, Capra sibrica - Siberian ibex, Capra pyrenica hispanica - Iberian ibex, Capra nubian - Nubian ibex, and Capra walia - Walia ibex.

The Iberian ibex, C. pyrenaica, is one of the species native to Spain and Portugal.

The Capra pyrenaica pyrenaica (Pyrenean ibex) is an extinct subspecies of the Iberian ibex. Humans are a major threat to the species since for decades these species have provided humans with meat as well as hide to use for clothing and about 8000-10,000 years ago some species of wild goats were domesticated as well.

The Capra pyrenaica hispanica is primarily herbivores and lives in mountain ranges. Some species of wild goats are still adopted and domesticated.

Their horns are a unique and distinguishing feature of these species. In this article, we will take a look at some interesting facts and information about the Iberian Ibex. If you like this article, then you should also check out our gerenuk facts and mountain goat facts.

Iberian Ibex Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an Iberian Ibex?

The Iberian Ibex is a type of Ibex animal related to species including buffalo, antelopes, cattle, bison sheep, and goats.

What class of animal does an Iberian Ibex belong to?

The Iberian Ibex belong to the Mammalia class of species,  family Bovidae, and genus Capra.  

How many Iberian Ibexes are there in the world?

There are a total of 50,000 number of the Iberian Ibex. Two of the Ibex subspecies populations/numbers were declared extinct however one of the extinct species was cloned by scientists in the year 2003 hence a clone species of them exists. Future threats to their population size include population overabundance, habitat deterioration disease, and competition with domestic livestock.

Where does an Iberian Ibex live?

These species' habitat primarily constitutes mountains with trees and grass cover, in regions including Cazorla Segura and Eastern Sierra Nevada and mountain regions on the Iberian Peninsula and Spain.

What is an Iberian Ibex's habitat?

The Iberian Ibex have been domesticated for decades and has resided in farms and mountainous regions and grasslands. They prefer staying on higher elevations and forested areas so they can get shade during the mid-day heat hours.

Who do Iberian Ibexes live with?

The Iberian ibex or Spanish ibex have the habit of living in herds. Females of the species are solitary only during the breeding season but later join the herd. They move together in herds and are territorial in natured they defend the areas within their home range.

How long does an Iberian Ibex live?

Iberian Ibex have been recorded to live from 12-16 years in the wild. This depends on various factors like their diet as well as their exercise.

How do they reproduce?

The Iberian Ibex reach sexual maturity at the age of three years. The breeding season occurs from November to December. Males compete to mate with females by engaging in head butting.

This is also known as the rutting season. The gestation period lasts 161-168 days. They breed yearly and give birth to one or two offsprings per litter.

The adult female gives birth in remote locations which are far to keep the offspring safe from possible predators. Females take care of their yearlings until they are independent and ready to live by themselves. The Iberian ibex (Capra pyrenaica) populates the Iberian peninsula.

What is their conservation status?

The Iberian Ibex or Spanish ibex is classified as a Least Concern species by the International Union For Conservation Of Nature (IUCN).  

Iberian Ibex Fun Facts

What do Iberian Ibexes look like?

Iberian ibexes are dark brown to gray in color. Their tail length is 10-15 cm. Adult male Ibexes tend to be bigger in size as compared to females.

They are known for their horns that are possessed by both males and females. The horns are long and curve backward over their heads. They have four short legs and flexible hooves.

Their faces are similarly shaped like that of a deer more like a goat however, there are slight differences. They are often shown in the wild engaging in fights where they run and crash against each other with their horns. Horn fights are seen among other species of animals as well.

Iberian Ibexes are big-sized animals in length that live near mountainous regions.

How cute are they?

They are majestic beings whose horns can instantly make you awestruck. The yearlings are cute to look at however, it's safe to keep a distance from them else they are known to attack.  

How do they communicate?

When a possible predator arrives the ibexes produce alarm calls which notify the other ibexes to flee to another region similar to their habitat where predators cannot reach. They move in very organized patterns. Males travel together and females with juvenile groups.

How big is an Iberian Ibex?

The Iberian Ibex is 1-5.5 ft(30-170 cm) tall which is bigger than the pygmy goat which is the smallest species of goat 1.31-1.34 ft (40-41 cm) tall.

How fast can an Iberian Ibex run?

Ibexes have the capability of running fast. They also have a unique ability to climb mountainous terrains which are inaccessible to predators, almost defying gravity.

They do this to avoid being attacked by predators. In some instances, they are known to fall as well and die performing these movements. They move in very organized patterns males travel together and females with juvenile groups.

How much does an Iberian Ibex weigh?

An Iberian Ibex weighs 65-265 lb (30-120 kg). The heaviest species of Ibex is the Siberian Ibex.

What are their male and female names of the species?

Males and females are not addressed differently however, they have differences in reproductive functions as well in size males tend to be bigger than females. The male herd is referred to as the bachelor herd and the females move along with juveniles in a group of 10-20 members.

Females have a faster ossification process which enables faster full bone developments since they are smaller in size.

What would you call a baby Iberian Ibex?

A baby Iberian Ibex is referred to as a kid or a yearling when they are a year old or more until they are independent and develop their own horns. These yearlings are completely dependent on their parents in the initial few weeks of their life.

What do they eat?

Ibexes' diet is primarily herbivorous. They feed on Holm oaks, grasses, and acorns as well.

Since the nutritional value in their diet content is low they have to feed on the same food for longer hours to procure some energy. They lack salt in their body hence they seek natural salts which they do so by licking rock surfaces for leached salts and other surfaces as well.

In some instances, they travel long distances in search of salts to feed on.

Are they dangerous?

They are dangerous if attacked or harmed. They primarily attack using their horns hence it's safe to keep a distance from them.

However, they don't attack in any other instances. They also are seen climbing mountain regions against gravity which is extremely hard to do and this is a unique trait present only in these species which helps them save themselves from possible predators as well as human attacks.

Would they make a good pet?

No, they are innately wild animals hence it's not a good idea to keep them as pets. They require lots of grass and other herbivorous food to feed on to meet their daily requirements hence it's best for them to survive in their natural habitat.

Did you know...

A famous species of ibex the Nilgiri thar (Alpine Ibex), which is included in the red list of species, is present in Munnar, Kerala, India. It weighs 80-90 kg. If you ever visit India pay a visit to Munnar, Kerela, India, and see these Ibex species as well.

Ibexes' horns don't break easily even when they are in a fight, however, there is a possibility for regrowth. In certain species of animals, only males possess horns but in the case of Ibexes, both genders possess horns.

The Gredos Ibex and the Beceite Ibex can still be found roaming in the hills but the Portuguese Ibex and Pyrenean Ibex are now extinct.

Is the Iberian Ibex endangered?

The Iberian Ibex is classified as a Least Concern species however, two of the Ibex subspecies populations were declared extinct. One of the extinct species was cloned by scientists in the year 2003 hence a clone species of the ibex exists which was a high-risk attempt.

What special adaptations does the Iberian Ibex have?

Ibexes have four short legs and are strong animals with a great sense of balance. They have strong hooves which make placement of the foot on the mountains easier facilitating movement even into places where other species cannot climb. They are known to travel a great distance/area in search of salts.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals from our kudu fun facts, and alpine ibex interesting facts pages.

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

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Written by Christian Mba

Bachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

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Christian MbaBachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

Christian Mba is an experienced blogger and content writer with over a decade of experience. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Nigeria and has a keen interest in Python programming. Along with his writing and blogging expertise, he is also an SEO specialist with more than six years of experience. Chris, as he is commonly known, has a passion for music and enjoys playing the piano.

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Fact-checked by Oluwapelumi Iwayemi

Bachelor of Science specializing in Systems Engineering

Oluwapelumi Iwayemi picture

Oluwapelumi IwayemiBachelor of Science specializing in Systems Engineering

Iwayemi is a creative content writer and editor studying for a Bachelor of Science specializing in Systems Engineering from the University of Lagos. He is skilled in research and has experience writing and editing content for different organizations.

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