Height: The goat tends to stand at a height of 2.1 to 2.6 ft.
Weight: A full grown Nubian ibex weighs between 25 to 70kg.
Color: The outer surface of the body is sandy brown which is a bit lighter at the back. The belly region and the legs are generally white. The males possess dark brown stripes down the back of their bodies. The legs have black and white marks spread around them. The color of the neck, chest, shoulders, upper legs, and sides, turn dark brown which can at times turn black in males during the hot month of October. The male goats have long and dark colored beards.
Picture 1 – Nubian Ibex
Horns: Ibexes have long and thin horns. The horns grow up long and then bend backwards. The male usually has a meter long horn, while the female horns are much smaller, growing not more than 12inches.
Nubian Ibex is widely found in Oman, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, Yemen, and Sudan. Due to lack of data it cannot be confirmed, but there have been traces of this species found in Syria. Earlier it was found in Lebanon but currently it is extinct in this region.
These mammals live in the rugged desert mountainous terrains that are steep and have rough and rocky slopes. They prefer living in the remote areas. These animals are also found to live in the plateaus, canyons and wadis.
There are a lot of interesting behavioral patterns found in these animals:
These animals are known to be most active during the daytime. They retire at night. As the afternoon arrives they slow down their activity and switch to restive mode which continues through the night.
Nubian ibexes find shelter during winters. They retreat to caves and rock outcroppings to get away from cold winter chills, wind and the rain.
Shallow grounds are often hollowed out by these creatures to form their resting grounds.
Ibexes living in the shores of the Dead Sea and the Arabian Peninsula tend to find the rising temperatures (often reaching 38 degrees Celsius and higher) unsettling. During this time, they mostly lie down or turn on their sides to keep themselves cool. They find shelter in the shaded areas during hot temperatures.
Herds are predominantly gender-based.
Nubian Ibexes are very territorial and protect their living areas. They live together in flocks and their living range is a few kilometers. A herd of Nubian ibex is dominated by males or females who often fight with members of same gender trying to encroach in a group.
Female bonding is higher than the males as the latter tend to disperse.
Groups tend to move separately at times, in order to find new feeding grounds and water sources.
Picture 2 – Nubian Ibex Photo
Being herbivorous in nature, the Nubian ibex generally feeds on grasses and leaves. At times they prefer feeding on buds and fruits. They also prefer eating casabas.
They are threatened by leopards, eagles and bearded vultures.
These animals have strong hind legs. Both male and female species use their hind legs in defending themselves against potent dangers and threats from predators. The desert goat raises its body on its hind legs and points its horns while being threatened.
The herds comprising of males and females come together in groups largely during March and November. However, there are believed to be two mating seasons in these animals. Autumn is the first mating time with the spring being a good time to mate. The second mating season has developed recently due to changes in the evolutionary processes. Mating season depends largely on the capabilities of the female to become pregnant. A female which is able to bear a child twice can opt to mate.
Sexual maturity is reached at 2 to 3 years of age by a Nubian ibex. Males feel mating urge during late autumn. During the period of male “rut”, they separate themselves from their bachelor herd and find their way to a female herd to select a prospective mate.
Picture 3 – Nubian Ibex Image
Male fighting is common during the choosing of mates and selecting available female goats. Females gestate for 6 months approximately. Normally a single baby is born to a female Nubian ibex during May.
Lactation period lasts till 3 months age of the baby then the mother starts feeding the new born along with the adult child. When the babies reach 3 years of age they tend to stay with their mothers becoming a part of the group.
An adult lives for around 17 years. Adult males are often found to live alone.
IUCN has indicated Capra Nubiana on a vulnerable status. There has been a great decline in the population of this species for over a decade.
Some interesting facts about this animal:
In spite of its small size they are very hardy. They move up and down the rocky desert mountains too often.
Sexual activity continues for about a month.
Kids start jumping and running around within 24 hours of their birth.
They have their scent glands on the low end of their tails.
Females are smaller in size and have shorter horns than male Nubian ibexes.
Leopards and hunters spread across the Arabian territories are the main predators of this animal.