Fun Nubian Ibex Facts For Kids

Aashita Dhingra
Jan 10, 2023 By Aashita Dhingra
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Isobel Murphy
Fact-checked by Diya Patel
Nubian Ibex facts and its beard and large horns

The Nubian Ibex is a desert goat found in the rocky and desert regions of Africa, Egypt, Northeast Sudan, Northern Ethiopia, and Western Eritrea. This species is also known as the Capra Ibex because of its genus, Capra.

The Capra Ibex is known for its large horns and beard which give it a truly majestic appearance!

Sadly, the Nubian Ibex features in the IUCN Red List as it is a critically endangered species that is facing the threat of extinction. This is for two main reasons: humans poaching for Nubian Ibex horns and the destruction of the Nubian Ibex's habitat.

Don't worry though, efforts for the conservation of the species are underway in different regions.

The horns of the males can grow up to 48 in long, while in females the horns can grow up to 14 in! After you have read these interesting Nubian Ibex facts, do check out these facts about reindeer and the mountain goat as well.

Nubian Ibex Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Nubian Ibex?

The Nubian Ibex is a kind of desert goat. These animals dwell in the desert areas of mountains and plateaus.

During the twilight period they are at their most active, and in the afternoon and at night, they devote their time to resting and ruminating. During winter, the Nubian Ibex seek shelter in places like rock outcroppings or caves to avoid the cold, wind, and rain.

What class of animal does a Nubian Ibex belong to?

The Nubian Ibex belongs to the mammal class of animals. They are capable of reproducing and the females bear their young.

How many Nubian Ibexes are there in the world?

Nubian Ibexes are listed as an endangered species as the total population is estimated at around 2600. This population is spread across Africa and the Middle East.

In many countries, they have been designated as protected species, and in Israel, they have been listed as endangered species. The total population is divided into various sub-groups. None of these subgroups has more than 250 members.

Where does a Nubian Ibex live?

The Nubian Ibex have evolved to survive in hot and desolate regions in Africa and the Middle East. You can expect to find them over a huge area, albeit in small herds as these goats prefer moving around in small herds.

What is a Nubian Ibex's habitat?

The Nubian Ibex Capra nubiana species like to roam about on high cliffs and tend to only come down from these heights for the purpose of grazing.

During summer, herds of Nubian Ibex Capra nubiana can be found in open areas around the slopes as this allows them multiple escape routes in case of any sudden predator attacks. During winter, the Nubian Ibex Capra nubiana prefers to spend the nights in covered places.

The species is diurnal in nature as they tend to rest during the night and be active during the day.

Who do Nubian Ibexes live with?

The Nubian Ibex Capra nubiana prefer to live in small herds. The maximum number of members in a herd is normally 20. These herds can be found in hilly areas and on mountainous terrain across Africa and the Middle East.

How long does a Nubian Ibex live?

The lifespan of the Nubian Ibex is up to 17 years. Of course, this differs across locations as weather conditions, eating habits, risk of predation, and more can all affect the expected lifespan of the species.

How do they reproduce?

The breeding season for Nubian Ibexes starts around the month of October. This breeding season is the time when males compete for the right to mate with a female.

This takes the form of a battle between two males. A well-defined process of a dominance hierarchy is put on display after this, when the adult males form a bachelor group.

In the month of October, the rut season begins for both male and female Nubian Ibexes, and this continues until December. The older males are not often found around the herd throughout the year, but in the rut season, they join the females in order to protect them from other males.

What is their conservation status?

The Nubian Ibex is sadly listed as an endangered species with an EN C2a classification on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It is estimated that their population sits currently at under 2,500 mature individuals.

This, combined with the fact that no Nubian Ibex sub-populations have a population above 250 mature individuals, results in an overall declining population trend.

Nubian Ibex Fun Facts

What do Nubian Ibexes look like?

Nubian Ibexes are among the smallest species of the Ibex in the world. A male Ibex is smaller than a female Ibex by almost 33% of the total size.

In appearance, the Nubian Ibex's body is uniformly tan in color, with some patches of white and black on the underbelly and the legs. The horns of the mature Nubian Ibexes are very large in appearance and they do not shed these, keeping them for their whole life.

Fun Nubian Ibex Facts For Kids

How cute are they?

With their tanned body and big horns, they look incredibly cute. Watching them climb along the edge of mountains and hills is also amazing!

How do they communicate?

The Nubian Ibex, like any other goat species, is regarded as non-vocal. Over many, many decades the animals have evolved to develop a complex system of visual signs for aggression.

Among these, the most studied component of communication between Nubian Ibexes is their courtship display. Males display themselves to other males by presenting their horns and using body movements, especially of the tongue or lips.

How big is a Nubian Ibex?

The Nubian Ibex is one of the smallest Ibex species animals, and their body size varies from male to female. A male will weigh on average 137 lb and will be 30 in tall. On the other hand, a female weighs on average 59 lb and is 25 in tall.

How fast can a Nubian Ibex run?

Even without having a running start, a Nubian Ibex is able to jump more than 6ft in distance. As a result, they are able to move around mountainous terrain relatively easily and rarely fall. Their hooves have sharp edges and undersides that have a concave shape, allowing them to have a firm grip while roaming around in the mountains.

How much does a Nubian Ibex weigh?

A Nubian Ibex can with between 55-145 lb (25-66 kg), though this varies according to their diet, eating habits, and climate factors.

What are their male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names for the genders of the species. Instead, they are commonly referred to as male and female.

What would you call a baby Nubian Ibex?

The offspring of the Nubian Ibex are simply referred to as kids. Cute, right?

What do they eat?

Nubian Ibex feeds on grasses and leaves. This makes them herbivores, and most often, they eat these plants during the daytime.

Are they dangerous?

Nubian Ibex are known for their aggressive behavior during the rut season, so they can be really dangerous during that time frame. In fact, their aggression is so bad at this time that it can lead to serious injuries.

Would they make a good pet?

It is illegal to own a pet Nubian Ibex as their population is declining sharply. They are on the endangered list and therefore it is illegal to have them as pets.

Did you know...

The Nubian Ibex has a unique grooming regimen wherein grackles feast on the parasites residing on the body.

The gestation period for a female Nubian Ibex after mating can range between 150-165 days.  

The Nubian Ibex has a white underbelly and tan-colored body. Males also have dark brown stripes towards their back, but you won't find these on a female Nubian Ibex.

Nubian Ibex live in small herds comprising females, males, and kids. In a herd, the oldest male is normally 3 years old.

How have the Nubian Ibexes adapted to their environment?

Nubian Ibexes living along the Dead Sea and on the Arabian Peninsula are exposed to temperatures exceeding 86 F. As per the nature of Ibexes, they spend the warmest days in shaded areas to keep their body temperature balanced.

Are the Nubian Ibexes endangered?

Nubian Ibexes have always been at risk from poaching. During the dynastic period in Egypt, Nubian Ibexes were hunted as many popular items, including trophies, were made from their horns.

Sadly, today the protected areas for the species are poorly guarded which leads to poaching. Therefore, the species is on the IUCN Red List as a critically endangered species.


Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including the chipmunk, or Javan rhinoceros.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Nubian Ibex coloring pages.

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Written by Aashita Dhingra

Bachelors in Business Administration

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Aashita DhingraBachelors in Business Administration

Based in Lucknow, India, Aashita is a skilled content creator with experience crafting study guides for high school-aged kids. Her education includes a degree in Business Administration from St. Mary's Convent Inter College, which she leverages to bring a unique perspective to her work. Aashita's passion for writing and education is evident in her ability to craft engaging content.

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Fact-checked by Diya Patel

Bachelor of Science specializing in in Computer Science

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Diya PatelBachelor of Science specializing in in Computer Science

A member of Kidadl's fact-checking team, Diya is currently pursuing a degree in Computer Science from Ahmedabad University with an interest in exploring other fields. As part of her degree, she has taken classes in communications and writing to expand her knowledge and skills.

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