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Pyrenean Ibex

The Pyrenean Ibex (Capra pyrenaica pyrenaica), is one of two extinct species of Spanish Ibex. The subspecies once ranged across the Pyrenees in France and Spain and the surrounding area, including the Basque Country, Navarre, and north Catalonia. The diet of the Pyrenean Ibex consisted of grass, herbs and lichens. The ibex was paraxonic, with the plane of symmetry of each foot passing between the third and fourth digits. The third and fourth digits were quite large and bore most of the weight.

They were once in abundance, but by 1900 they were reduced to around 100 specimens. After 1910, their numbers never rose above 40, and were found only in a small part of Ordesa National Park, in Huesca. The last Pyrenean Ibex, a female named Celia, was found dead on January 6, 2000, apparently killed by a falling tree. Although her cause of death is known, the reason for the extinction of the subspecies as a whole is a mystery. Some hypotheses include the inability to compete with other species for food, infections and diseases, and poaching.

Photo Credit: Paris National Museum of Natural History

Pyrenean Ibex


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