Distinctive hook-shaped horns distinguish chamois.

Remarkably agile, it can gallop on uneven, rocky ground and jump up to six feet (2 m) high.


Its nimbleness and acrobatics give it access to hard-to-reach areas, easing competition for the grasses, herbs, and flowers it prefers to eat.

In winter when food is scarce, it dines on pine shoots, lichens, and mosses.

Males live a solitary life; they are territorial and fight for a harem at mating time.

Females and young usually form herds of five to thirty members.

A posted sentinel warns the others of danger by stamping its feet and emitting a high-pitched whistle through its nose.


Animal Facts

Name: Chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra)

Family: Bovidae (Cattle and Relatives)


Range: Europe and western Asia

Habitat: Alpine rocky areas and meadows at 3,300 to 11,500 feet (1,000 to 3,500 m)

Diet: Herbs, flowers, mosses, lichens and shoots

Head and Body Length: 35 to 51 inches (90 to 130 cm)

Tail Length: 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm)

Shoulder Height: 28 to 31.5 inches (70 to 80 cm)

Weight: 48 to 136 pounds (22 to 62 kg)

Life Cycle: Mating October to November; gestation 170 to 180 days, one (rarely two or three) kids born

Description: Tawny brown fur in summer; chocolate brown in winter; slender, black horns that curve at the tips; white patch on throat; flexible hoof pads

Conservation Status: Not listed by the IUCN

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