Chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra)

Chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra)

This species of goat-antelope is native to mountains in Europe, including the European Alps, the Pyrenees, the Carpathians, the Tatra Mountains, the Balkans, parts of Turkey, the Caucasus, and the Apennines.

A fully grown chamois reaches a height of 70 to 80 centimetres and measures 107 to 137 centimetres. Males, which weigh 30 to 60 kilogrammes, are slightly larger than females, which weigh 25 to 45 kilogrammes. Both males and females have short, straightish horns which are hooked backwards near the tip, the horn of the male being thicker. Chamois are of strong and compact build; they have a slender neck as well as a short, narrow head. The colour of the fur varies in summer and winter from a rich brown colour to brownish black or grey. Distinct characteristics are white contrasting marks on the sides of the head with pronounced black stripes below the eyes, a white rump and a black stripe along the back.

Female chamois and their young live in herds of up to 15 to 30 individuals; adult males tend to live solitarily for most of the year. During the rut starting in late November, males engage in fierce battles for the attention of unmated females. An impregnated female undergoes a gestation period of 170 days, after which a single kid is usually born in May or early June - on rare occasions, twins may be born. The kid is weaned at six months of age and is fully grown by one year of age. However, the kids do not reach sexual maturity until they are three to four years old, although some females may mate at as early two years old. At sexual maturity, young males are forced out of their mother's herds by dominant males, and then wander somewhat nomadically until they can establish themselves as mature breeding specimens at eight to nine years of age.

Source: - 24.10.2017


We associate chamois with high mountains. Long time ago, they used to live in low mountain range as well - until they had to yield to humans.

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