Species / International Ovis

Persian Desert Ibex

Capra aegagrus ssp


Iran; Khorasan Province, Yazd and the Zagros Mountains.


The Persian desert ibex weighs only 100-130 pounds, versus the bezoar ibex which weighs around 200 pounds.. A handsome animal with blackish markings that contrast sharply with the lighter body color. The summer coat is reddish-brown, with adult males turning ashy-gray in winter. Underparts and back of legs are white. The blackish areas include the dorsal stripe, shoulder stripes, flank stripes, front of legs, chest, tail, throat and face. There is a long, black chin beard. Callouses are developed on the knees and sometimes on the chest. Males are characterized by large, scimitar-shaped, laterally compressed horns. The front edge is sharp, forming a keel for some distance, above which are a number of bold, sharp-edged, widely separated knobs.


Sedentary, living its life in a small area. Favors steep, rocky terrain, in arid regions. May be diurnal or nocturnal, depending on predator and human activity, but older males tend to sleep in hiding places (often caves) by day and feed at night. Drinks water regularly when available, usually very early or late, or even after dark. Some observers believe it can exist indefinitely without drinking free water. Extremely surefooted and agile. All senses are acute.

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