Alpine Ibex (Stambecco) in Gran Paradiso National Park, Piedmont, Italy
The Alpine Ibex (Capra Ibex or Stambecco in Italian) is a mammal of Artiodactyla origin, family Bovidae and subfamily of Goats, spread along the Alpine arc.
What the History said?
100 000 years ago, the Alpine Ibex lived in all the rocky regions of Central Europe. It was also a source of inspiration for the people who drew the Paleolithic caves in which they lived as it appears in the mural paintings of the Lascaux cave in France.
Until the fifteenth century the Alpine Ibex was present throughout the Alpine arc but the development of firearms signaled its end soon in those territories. The medicine of the time then all centered on superstition, was fatal. The horns, reduced to powder, were used as a remedy for impotence and his blood as a remedy for kidney stones. The stomach was then shown to combat depression. These beliefs persisted until the nineteenth century but now there were only a few hundred individuals in the Italian and French Alps and it had completely disappeared in Switzerland.
How did they survive?
The species owes its survival to the Italian royal family. The King Vittorio Emanuele II had protected in 1856 the last specimens for his hunting reserve for the staff in a private reserve located in the Valsavarenche. By his order a group of gamekeepers were protecting Alpine Ibex from other hunters. Till our days Valle d'Aosta is the only region in the Alps where the species has never disappeared in historical times.
Where to find Alpine Ibex?
The ibex is now broadcast across the Alps, from the Maritime Alps to the west to the Alps of Carinthia and Slovenia to the east at altitudes between 500 and 3 000 m. Although its range has greatly expanded during the twentieth century its distribution is still fairly fragmented.
Except for that of the Gran Paradiso National Park, all current populations are the result of reintroductions (France, Switzerland, Austria and Germany) or the newly introduced (Slovenia and Bulgaria).
Unfortunately, in Bulgaria in the last years Alpine Ibex is a an attractive target for hunting and the chance to survive there is almost minimal.
In the nineties it was estimated a total population of about 30 000 units. Of these about 15 000 live in Switzerland, 9 700 in Italy, 3 200 in Austria, 3 300 in France, 250 in Slovenia and 220 in Germany.
Its typical habitat is constituted by the rocky environments of high altitude above the line of the trees. The steep south-facing rocky ridges rich herbaceous vegetation are the preferred environment. A subalpine level will be encountered in open sunny areas with presence of rocky outcrops
Save the Alpine Ibex in Bulgaria!
Unfortunately, in Bulgaria in the last years Alpine Ibex is an attractive target for hunting and the chance to survive there is almost minimal.
It happened in the past, in not so far one century ago, some types of animals were disappeared at all from the Planet Earth!
We are living in a different time but the question are:
We are still wild people?
Do we wish to survive our planet, our flora and fauna?
Do we have enough good laws to protect our flora and fauna?
Who should do something and help?
Advices for visiting Gran Paradiso:
- Don't bring with you dogs or other animals that can disturb the animals of the Park!
- Don't make noise there!
- Do not cry when you encounter these animals!
- Move smoothly rather than abruptly!
- It is useless you try to make pictures of them very close up, you only will scare them!
- Do not scare any animals in the Park of Gran Paradiso and not only!
Alpine Ibex Gallery (Stambecci)
All the Rights for the pictures are Reserved and you cannot use any of them without permission of Mimi & www.mimipet.com !
Battles between Stambecci - my video
Take a look at this short movie to see why Stambecci are fighting between them even it is not a breeding season.
The video have the same All rights Reserved and you cannot use it for any need without permission of Mimi & www.mimipet.com !