Spanischer Steinbock Capra pyrenaica (Schinz, 1838)


English: Spanish Ibex; French: Bouquetin d’Espange; Spanish: Cabra montés.

Former distribution: Post-glacial in all mountains of the Iberian Peninsula.
Present distribution: Pyrenees, Ordesa Valley, Province of Huesca, Sierra de Gredos, Provinces of Avila and Caceres, Sierra de Tortosa and Beceite, Provinces of Tarragona, Castellon and Teruel, Sierra Muela de Cortes, Province of Valencia, Sierra de Cazorly and Segura, Provinces of Jaen, Albacete and Granada, Sierra Morena, Sierra Madrona, Province of Ciudad Real, Sierra Nevada, Provinces of Granada and Almeria. Between Granada, Malaga and Ronda, Provinces of Granada and Malaga (Almijaras, Cazulas, Jujar, Ronda, Bermeja, Blanca and Marbella).
Behaviour: Preferred habitat: rocky mountainous region at altitudes between 500 and 3000 m. Gregarious, living in herds of up to 50 and more; activity predominantly at twilight. They are grazers and browsers; diet consists of alpine grasses and rocky plants and shrubs. Predators include wolves, lynxes and eagles.
Population status: C.p. lusitanica extinct 1892. C.p. pyrenaica: 40, endangered. Estimated numbers acc. to CIC Symposium 1982 of C.p. hispanica and C.p. victoriae: 30 000. Stable.
Brief notes: Body weights and measurements increase from south to north:
Body weight: 40-80 kg
Head and body length: 120-150 cm
Tail length: 10-15 cm
Shoulder height: 65-75 cm
Gestation period: 5 1/2 months
Maximum age: 15-20 years
Trophy: Record SCI: 96% score, 1985 Spain, JIM ROCKSTAD; average 65 score. CIC: 268.55 points, 1987 Spain, Credo Mts., Don JUAN ALEIX; average 205 points.
Hunting methods: Stalking, with beaters, on horseback.
Subspecies: 4
1. Pyrennean Ibex Capra p. pyrenaica National Park, Ordesa Valley Pyrenees. Endangered: 40. Trophy: No records.
2. South-eastern Ibex Capra p. hispanica Sierra de Tortosa, Sierra de la Muela de Cortes, Sierras de Cazorla-Segura, Sierra Madrona, Sierra Nevada, Sierras de Malaga-Granada, Serrania de Cuenca. Stable.
3. Western Spanish Ibex Capra p. victoriae Sierra de Credos, National Game Reserve „Las Batuegas“. Stable. Estimated numbers: 10 100.
4. Lusitanian Spanish Ibex Capra p. lusitania Portugal: Serra do Gerez. Extinct in 1892.
Remarks: 200 years ago the Spanish Ibex populations became depleted to near extinction, due to excessive hunting and competition from domestic sheep and goats. Ibex became extinct in the Cantabrian Mountains in 1800, and in the French part of the Pyrenee s about 1870; the result of strict protection by law – and successful management – since 1950 has led to a population of up to 30 000 today.