Walia Ibex

Walia Ibex – An Endangered Species of Ibex

The Walia Ibex (Capra walie) is also known as the Abyssinian Ibex as it is found exclusively in the northwestern region of Ethiopia, in the Semien Mountain National Parks, and nowhere else in the world. It is on the endangered list.

The distinct color and magnificent arched horns of the Walia Ibex make them easy to identify from the other species of ibex in the Semien Mountains.

The coat of the Walia is a rich chocolate-brown to chestnut-brown color, with a muzzle of grey-brown and light gray around the eyes and along the legs. Their bellies and the inside of their legs are white, and mature males grow black beards. Along the length of their legs, you may notice contrasting black and white markings.

Adult males generally weigh from 80 to 125 kilograms (180 to 280 pounds) and have massive horns that arch backward in lengths of up to 110 centimeters (43 inches). Females also have horns, but they are smaller and thinner than males’, with paler colored markings.

Walia Ibex live in herds ranging from five to twenty. They prefer steep, rocky cliffs at altitudes ranging between 2,500 and 4,500 meters (8,200 and 14,800 feet). They are most active in the mornings and evenings, and during the middle hours, will sun themselves on rocky ledges.

The female Walia gives birth to one or two offspring. Grazers and browsers, their habitats are mountain forests, sub-alpine grasslands, and scrub. Here they feed on grass, shrubs, and herbs. For further information on this magnificent and shy beast, you can read The Walia Ibex (Capra Walie) by Ato Wale Mengistu of the Ethiopian Biodiversity Institute. It can be found on the following site: https://www.omicsonline.org

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