Forest, Wildlife & Environment Department Government of Gilgit-Baltistan

Himalayan Ibex

About Himalayan Ibex

The coat colouration varies widely across ibex’s range. The general colour of the pelage is a light tan, with the undersides lighter. In winter, mature males become much darker, with varying patches of white on the neck and back. Males have a beard. Both sexes have horns. Females show slender, shorter, backward curving horns, while males have massive horns, flattened on their front edge and roughly triangular in cross section

Key Facts

common name
Tail Lenght
8CM - 20CM
130CM - 165CM
30KG - 100KG
16-17 YEARS

Himalayan Ibex Features

The Himalayan ibex (Capra ibex sibirica), a large and heavily built mountain goat is the most numerous wild ungulate in Pakistan. They live in groups, in mountainous regions ranging from 2,000 m to 5,500 m in rocky terrains and open alpine meadows.

The Himalayan ibex provides a food base to a wide array of carnivores including snow leopards. They are coveted trophies for hunters whose license fees help impoverished communities, who, in turn, help conserve biodiversity. Thus, their long-term survival is not only important for conserving nature but helps in sustaining local human populations as well.

SLF’s recent study estimates 26,510 km’ area to be suitable habitat for the species, comprising 38% of the Gilgit-Baltistan region. Most of the suitable habitat falls in the Karakoram range, followed by the Hindu Kush and then in the Himalayas. Annual precipitation, annual mean temperature and precipitation seasonality are key factors that determine habitat suitability for ibex. However, given the onset of climate change, the species will lose 30-60% of its habitat, particularly in the Himalayan and Hindu Kush ranges Centre of the species range is also likely to shift eastwards.

Luckily, the Karakoram-Pamir ranges will serve as climate refugia, thus, it shall remain the focus of future conservation efforts to protect this iconic species.

Threats: Illegal hunting, human disturbance, habitat loss, and competition for forage with domestic livestock

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