Portuguese ibex

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Portuguese ibex
without rank: Forehead weapon bearer (Pecora)
Family : Horned Bearers (Bovidae)
Subfamily : Antilopinae
Genre : Goats ( capra )
Type : Iberian ibex ( Capra pyrenaica )
Subspecies : Portuguese ibex
Scientific name
Capra pyrenaica lusitanica
Schlegel , 1872

The Portuguese ibex ( Capra pyrenaica lusitanica ) is an extinct subspecies of the Iberian ibex .


The Portuguese ibex reached roughly the length of the head of the Iberian ibex . The type specimen (a young male) has a length of 142 centimeters and a shoulder height of 73 centimeters. The horns of the males were only about half as long as those of the Iberian ibex with a length of up to 51 centimeters. They stood close together at the base and then curved outward twice as far as that of their Spanish relative. The horns of a female housed in the Museum of the University of Coimbra , Portugal, measure only 18 centimeters. The Portuguese ibex had a similar coat color to the Iberian ibex. Their summer fur has a blond-brown tint with black markings that run particularly along the flanks and thighs. In winter, the eel line widens and forms a round spot on the withers . The female has the same coat color, but they are missing the markings. In comparison, the Portuguese ibex had brown fur markings.

Occurrence and habitat

The distribution area of ​​the Portuguese ibex extended from the slopes of the Borrageiro (1433 m) to Montalegre in northern Portugal , Galicia and Asturias in northwest Spain and western Cantabria in northern Spain. This habitat is characterized by mountain and rocky regions with an average annual temperature of 17.3 ° C and an annual rainfall of 627 millimeters. The vegetation zone consists of grass, herbs, shrubs and evergreen deciduous trees, which were the main food of the ibex.

die out

The Portuguese Ibex was still widespread until 1800, when a merciless hunt for it began. Local hunters killed the ibex for their fur , horns , meat, and bezoar stones . Objects of art and musical instruments (such as alphorns ) were made from the horns . The fur was used as a bedspread, and the bezoar stones were said to have medicinal properties, especially for many symptoms of intoxication. As more males than females were hunted down, the balance changed dramatically, and the ibex were a great rarity as early as 1870. The last herd of about 12 specimens, consisting entirely of females, was observed in 1886. An old female died in Spain in 1890 after only three days in human care, and two other animals fell victim to an avalanche in Galicia in 1891 . The last female was seen at Lombade Pan in the Serra do Gerês in 1892 .


  • C. Almaça: Notes on Capra pyrenaica lusitanica Schlegel 1872. In: Mammalia. Volume 56, Paris 1992, pp. 121-124.
  • W. Beacham: World Wildlife Fund Guide to Extinct Species of Modern Times . 1997, ISBN 0-933833-40-7 .
  • A. Cabrera: Fauna Ibérica. Mamiferos. Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales. Madrid 1914, p. 323.
  • P. Choffat: Le Bouquetin du Gerez et le Bouquetin de Monte Junto. In: Bulletin de la Société Portugaise des Sciences Naturelles. Volume VIII, No. 2, pp. 151-156. Cabra do Geres. Capra lusitanica. Geologia. Paleontologia. Ossos de Capra hispanica, nicht de C. lusitanica 1920.
  • D. Day: The Doomsday Book of Animals. Ebury Press, London 1981.
  • C. França: Descrição da nova espécie, Capra lusitanica França, 1908. In: Le Professeur Barbosa du Bocage - 1823–1907. Bulletin de la Société Portugaise de Sciences Naturelles. Volume II, No. 1-2, 1908, p. 144.
  • C. França: Le bouquetin du Gerez: Capra Lusitanica; Notes on une espèce éteinte. In: Arquivos da Universidade de Lisboa. Volume 4, 1917, pp. 19-53. Fauna - Serra do Gerez (Portugal) / Cabra Lusitana.
  • JM Perez, JE Granados, RC Soriguer, P. Fandos, FJ Marquez, JP Crampe: Distribution, status and conservation problems of the Spanish ibex, Capra pyrenaica (Mammalia: Artiodactyla). In: Mammal Rev. Volume 32, No. 1, 2002, pp. 26-39. PDF full text, English

Web links

Commons : Portuguese Ibex ( Capra pyrenaica lusitanica )  - Collection of images, videos and audio files