Pyrenean Chamois

Pyrenean Chamois

The Pyrenean Chamois, (French: izard or isard, Spanish: rebeco or gamuza, Aragonese: sarrio or chizardo, Catalan: isard ) Rupicapra pyrenaica pyrenaica is a Goat antelope that lives in the Pyrenees, Cantabrian Mountains and Apennine Mountains. It is one of the two species of the genus Rupicapra, the other being the Chamois, Rupicapra rupicapra. It is in the Caprinae subfamily of bovids, along with sheep and goats.

Up to 80cm tall, their summer coat is a ruddy brown; in winter it is black/brown with darker patches around the eyes. Both males and females have backward-hooked horns up to 20cm in length. They browse on grass, lichens and buds of trees. Sure-footed and agile, they are found anywhere up to 3000m.

Hunted almost to extinction in the 1940's the population has since recovered and in 2002 was estimated to be in the region of 25,000. (Pérez et al, 2002)


*R. p. parva (Cantabrian chamois): Spain


  • Haack, M. 2002. "Rupicapra pyrenaica" Animal Diversity Web. Accessed February 20, 2006.
  • Pérez, T., Albornoz, J. & Domínguez, A. (2002). Phylogeography of chamois (Rupicapra spp.) inferred from microsatellites. Mol Phylogenet Evol. 25, 524–534.
  • Pérez-Barbería, F. J., García-González, R. (2004). "Rebeco – Rupicapra pyrenaica." Enciclopedia Virtual de los Vertebrados Españoles. Carrascal, L. M., Salvador, A. (Eds.). Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales. Madrid, Spain.

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