Nubian Ibex

Nubian Ibex
Nubian ibex
Two Nubian Ibexes at Ein Gedi nature reserve, The Judean desert, Israel
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Bovidae
Subfamily: Caprinae
Genus: Capra
Species: C. nubiana
Binomial name
Capra nubiana
F. Cuvier, 1825

The Nubian ibex (Capra nubiana) is a desert-dwelling goat species found in mountainous areas of Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Egypt, Ethiopia,Yemen, Sudan, and Pakistan. It is generally considered to be a subspecies of Alpine ibex, but is sometimes considered specifically distinct (Capra nubiana). The wild population is estimated at 1,200 individuals.

Nubian ibexes stand around 65-75 cm / 2.1-2.6 ft tall at the shoulder and weigh around 50 kilograms (110 lb). Nubian ibexes are a light tan colour, with a white underbelly, in males there is also a dark brown stripe down the back. Nubian ibexes have long thin horns which extend up and then backwards and down. In males these reach around a metre in length while in females they are much smaller (around 30 cm/12 in).

Detail of head

Nubian ibexes live in rough dry mountainous terrain where they eat mainly grasses and leaves and are preyed upon by leopards, eagles and bearded vultures. Nubian ibexes live in herds composed solely of males or females. They are diurnal, they are active during the day and rest during the night.

In popular culture

The Biblical heroine Yael's name means "Ibex" in Hebrew. The Nubian ibex in particular was prominently featured in the popular television documentary series Planet Earth (episode 5, "Deserts") and also in the BBC Documentary LIFE [[1]]


  1. ^ Alkon, P.U., Harding, L., Jdeidi, T., Masseti, M., Nader, I., de Smet, K., Cuzin, F. & Saltz, D. (2008). Capra nubiana. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 5 April 2009. Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is of vulnerable.

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