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Last updated on April 20, 2014 at 8:28 EDT

Nubian Ibex, Capra nubiana

The Nubian ibex (Capra nubiana) is a species of goat that can be found in the deserts of Oman, Jordan, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt, among other places. It prefers a habitat within rocky mountainous areas of its range. Typically, it is classified as a subspecies of the alpine ibex, but it has been classified as its own species occasionally. Groups of Nubian ibex, either all males or all females, are active during the day and can be seen feeding on leaves and grasses. Common predators include bearded vultures, leopards, and eagles.

The Nubian ibex can reach an average height of 2.1 to 2.4 feet at the shoulder and weigh up to 110 pounds. Both males and females are tan in color, with white underbellies, but males bear a distinctive dark stripe that extends down the back. The horns of this goat appear on both sexes, but are much longer in males reaching an average length of 3.2 feet.

The Nubain ibex appears in popular culture in the Bible, where heroine Yael’s name means “ibex” in Hebrew. It also appears on television in the BBC documentary LIFE, as well as in the documentary series Planet Earth, in episode five called “Deserts”. The Nubian ibex appears in the IUCN Red List as “Vulnerable” and the wild population is estimated at 1,200 individuals. Fortunately, conservation efforts to preserve the Nubian ibex have been implemented, including the creation of Yob Wildlife Reserve in 1959, located in northern Eritrea.

Image Caption: Two Nubian Ibexes, Ein Gedi nature reserve, The Judean desert, Israel. Credit: Yuvalr/Wikipedia(CC BY-SA 3.0)

Nubian Ibex Capra nubiana