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April 11, 2011 / hhsiegrist

European Ibex

This blog takes off much faster than I thought and I suppose I will have to keep up with expectations. Thank you for visiting, bookmarking and subscribing.

The European or Alpine Ibex (Capra ibex ibex) is a kind of wild goat that lives all over the alpine regions in Switzerland. Oddly enough, there is also one colony in the Jura mountains where I live. It was introduced in the sixties by the local game warden who thought the animals may attract tourists. That turned out to be true but today such an endeavour would be banned as illegal as the species is not indigenous to the Jura range. Two years ago the colony was topped up with three new animals from the Alps after a lot of haggling between the local tourism board and the federal environmental agency.

Anyway, for us wildlife photographers this colony is totally welcome as it is not too far away and we can spend whole days in this nature reserve called the “Creux-du-Van”, a natural rock arena, with excellent chances of finding our subjects:

http://www.neuchateltourisme.ch/en/leisure-activities/hiking/creux-du-van.908.html

They can be found single on a ledge with a vertical drop of 200 metres:

or in family groups in the sun:

The kids venture out alone:

and the adult animals enjoy a mouthful of new grass in spring:

Old males are not shy at all:

and you are well advised not to try to shoo them away but respectfully walk around them if you can.

More pictures at http://hhsiegrist.zenfolio.com/european_ibex

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