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Chamois Antelope

Rupicapra rupicapra
Chamois Antelope

Range

They are found in the Alps of Europe and Asia.

Habitat

They live in high mountain grassy areas.

Body Traits

They can reach 4-feet long (130 cm) and weigh up to 140 pounds (62 kg). They have a reddish-brown coat that gets longer and darker in winter. Their faces are distinct with a white strip that runs from their nose back and a white patch that covers their cheeks and throat. A dark strike runs around the eyes from nose to ears. Both males and females have dark, thin horns that curve back at the ends.

Habits

They live high in the mountain in summer, staying in grassy areas at about 6,000 feet. In the winter they come down lower, even into forested areas, using steep cliffs to escape predators. They are amazing climbers, able to leap across 20-foot spans (6m). They can run 30mph (50kmh). Males usually live alone, while females live in flocks with young.

Diet

They eat grass mostly but will take leaves, buds and mushrooms.

Predators

They are hunted by lynx, wolves, and bears. Young are killed by foxes and large birds of prey.

Reproduction

Males compete for females in the fall “rut.” Females are pregnant for 5.5 months (gestation) and have 1-2 young in late spring. Babies can climb to safety with their mothers very soon after birth.

Lifespan and/or Conservation Status

They can live more than 20 years in the wild. They are listed as Lower Risk - conservation dependent in much of their European range, but endangered in some mountainous regions where they are heavily hunted for food and there is habitat loss.

Chamois Antelope

Classification

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Bovidae
Subfamily: Caprinae
Genus: Rupicapra
Species: Rupicapra rupicapra

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