The ibex is what the locals would call the “cabra de montaña” or mountain goat, which stands to reason because it is a kind of wild goat and the mountains are where you will find them.

I was lucky enough to come close to a female ibex and her kid the other evening as I was paddling around in my float tube casting into the margins. The two ibex showed little alarm and spent a while grazing in the vegetation close to the waters edge and I was lucky enough to get some reasonable photographs.

The Spanish ibex is endemic to the Iberian Peninsula. There were four sub-species until fairly recent times but two have become extinct. The ibex that joined me on the shore of Concepción reservoir are the Southeastern Spanish ibex or Beceite ibex (Capra pyrenaica hispanica).

These ibex form groups of females with young or groups of males and the sexes do not come together until the rutting season in November or December.

The ibex melt beautifully into the landscape here and, but for their movement, would be all but impossible to see. They are terrific climbers and have relatively short legs and big feet to make the business of wandering around on steep slopes a little easier.

I was so full of thoughts about ibex yesterday that, when we went out for dinner I decided to pontificate on the subject of these animals. Unfortunately nobody showed the slightest interest in what I was saying and then Grandad started making wisecracks about me just “kidding around” and all that kind of stuff.

The lack of interest shown by the family was all the more surprising because only last week when we were watching one of the Brian Cox´”Forces of Nature” programs on the telly we unanimously agreed that the highlight of the episode was some footage of ibex in Italy which were walking along a dam wall which was pretty much vertical. It turns out that there were a few rocks up near the top that contained some useful minerals including calcium and the ibex clambered up there to lick the rocks.

Anyway, here are a few of the pictures I took the other evening along with a medley of photos stolen from various sources which show what cool things these mountain goats are.


It is usually the movement of the ibex that gives them away.


More often than not I have seen mothers with a single kid. The males tend to lead separate lives for much of the year.


They make light work of moving through difficult terrain.


In the evening the ibex will climb down from the surrounding hills to graze close to the margins of the reservoir.

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