Portuguese Ibex (Capra pyrenaica lusitanica)


Portuguese Ibex looking at camera
aleeenot / Envato

The Portuguese ibex, scientifically known as Capra pyrenaica lusitanica, is an extinct subspecies of the Iberian ibex. It inhabited the north mountainous zones of Portugal, Galicia, Asturias, and western Cantabria. The Portuguese ibex shared many similarities in size and coloration with its Spanish counterparts.


Adult Portuguese Ibex
porojnicu / Envato

The Portuguese ibex exhibited similar physical characteristics to the Iberian ibex, with a tan color, white underbelly and rump, black legs, and a dark tail, making it well-adapted for arid environments. These animals were known for their long, backward-curving horns and cloven hooves, which facilitated their exceptional climbing abilities. The species’ appearance allowed it to thrive in its rugged mountainous habitat, distinguishing it from other species within the Capra genus.


Portuguese Ibex on a winter
porojnicu / Envato

The Portuguese ibex was primarily found in the mountainous regions of Portugal, Galicia, Asturias, and western Cantabria. Its distribution was limited to these specific areas, and the species had become extinct, making conservation efforts crucial to prevent the loss of similar species in the future.

Habitat Preferences

The Portuguese ibex preferred rocky habitats, particularly those with cliffs scattered with scrub, coniferous trees, or deciduous trees. These mountainous ecosystems provided the necessary rugged terrain for the ibex to exhibit its exceptional climbing abilities and avoid predators. The species’ adaptation to these environments allowed it to thrive and maintain a balanced population within its limited distribution range.

As a renowned conservation scientist and advocate for wildlife preservation, it’s essential to recognize the unique characteristics and habitat requirements of the Portuguese ibex. By understanding the intricacies of this species, we can better appreciate the importance of conservation efforts to protect and preserve the diverse wildlife that enriches our planet.

Facts About Portuguese ibex

  • The Portuguese ibex (Capra pyrenaica lusitanica) was an extinct subspecies of the Iberian ibex.
  • It inhabited the north mountainous zones of Portugal and Galicia.
  • The Portuguese ibex became extinct in 1892.
  • It was still numerous until 1800.
  • The species was part of the Iberian ibex (Capra pyrenaica).
  • The Portuguese ibex is also known as the Iberian wild goat.
  • It was one of four subspecies of the Iberian ibex.
  • The Portuguese ibex was distinct from the Spanish ibex.
  • The species was well-adapted to the mountainous terrain of its habitat.
  • The extinction of the Portuguese ibex was a result of hunting and habitat loss.

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