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Alpine ibex

Capra ibex


With his neck stretched out and his tail raised, this impressive male Alpine ibex shows all the signs of rut. Males can weigh up to about 115 kilograms (258 lb), and have large, backwards-curving, horns with numerous ridges along their length growing with age to up 98 cm (39 in). Extirpated by hunting from most alpine areas in the 19th century, the Alpine ibex was reintroduced to parts of its historical range and is now thriving.


Rocky slopes with grass above tree line, alt. 1900 m ASL. The habitat is shown in the last shot.


These two males were spotted together, the second one (picture 5) being noticeably younger as shown by his horns.The rut period lasts for about 6 weeks from about early December to mid-January. During this time, male herds break up into smaller groups that search for females. Spectacular fights to determine male ranking can be observed during this period. Rarely violent, the shock of horns can nevertheless be heard far away.

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49 Comments (1–25)

Zlatan Celebic
Zlatan Celebic 5 years ago

I missed this one at the time of posting - but gorgeous.

armadeus.4 8 years ago

Congratulations Daniele and thank you! The Alpine Ibex is such a magnificent animal and you captured this male superbly! Such a magnificent animal and definitely one of my favourite spottings :) Good luck to you too hey!

LisaPowers 8 years ago

Congrats DanielePralong, your majestic Alpine ibex has made the top 10 mammal spottings in the '2015 Best Wildlife Photo' mission! Rangers are voting on the top 10 mammal spottings, and the top 3 will be announced on February 6th. The top 3 spottings will be commented on here on the site, but make sure you keep a look out on our Facebook app page for the announcement as well! Congratulations on making the top 10!

DanielePralong 9 years ago

Thank you so much Robert!

triggsturner 9 years ago

What a great set of images. Thank you for sharing them.

DanielePralong 9 years ago

Thank you sunnyjosef!

sunnyjosef 9 years ago

Great photos Daniele... and belated congrats on the SOTD!!

armadeus.4 9 years ago

Thank you Daniele :) I have been travelling...have been home nearly one week after having a break in Dominica and St Lucia for six weeks! Had a ball trying to photograph birds :D

DanielePralong 9 years ago

Thank you Desmond, and thank you armadeus.4! Nice to see you around again armadeus.4, I see you've been travelling!

armadeus.4 9 years ago

A belated congratulations on your SOTD Daniele! That is a splendid ibex right there. Thank you for the info and for sharing :)

Desmond.E.S.O 9 years ago

Great Shots! Of such a Fabulous Animal! And Thanks for sharing!

DanielePralong 9 years ago

Thanks Bhagya, Satyen, Maria and Juan! Maria I also like the way the younger one "strutts" his stuff, but he stands little chance. Research carried out on the population these guys belong to shows that reproductive success in male Alpine ibex is heavily biased towards older, dominant males that monopolize access to receptive females.

Juan DiTrani
Juan DiTrani 9 years ago

Great picture, congrats Daniele!

Maria dB
Maria dB 9 years ago

Congratulations on your series and SOTD, Daniele! The fifth photo is also very nice where he really looks like he is "struttin' his stuff"!

Wild Things
Wild Things 9 years ago

Congratulations Daniele!

Bhagya Herath
Bhagya Herath 9 years ago

Awesome series Daniele .... Congrats......

DanielePralong 9 years ago

Thanks Dilan, Neil and Frederic!

Frederic Ansermoz
Frederic Ansermoz 9 years ago

Congratulations Daniele!
Nice photographs!

Neil Ross
Neil Ross 9 years ago

A fine looking Ibex, Daniele. Congrats on your much-deserved SOTD :-)

Dilan Chathuranga
Dilan Chathuranga 9 years ago

Congrats Dan!!Nice series!!

DanielePralong 9 years ago

Thanks Bill!

beaker98 9 years ago

Congrats Daniele! Wonderful series!

DanielePralong 9 years ago

Thank you Caleb! Hema, the young ones have quite a different silhouette and have very short horns, and sexes can't be differentiated before the age of 2. The females go to high secluded places to give birth and the young ones are quite hard to photograph. You can see pictures of young ones in the second reference I included.

Hema  Shah
Hema Shah 9 years ago

lovely horns!! Such a cute animal. Are the little ones the same looking?

Caleb Steindel
Caleb Steindel 9 years ago

Belated congrats on your SOTD, danielle!

Spotted by

Château-d’Œx, Vaud, Switzerland

Spotted on Nov 25, 2014
Submitted on Jan 13, 2015

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