This is the "Summary" page of the "Nubian Ibex (Capra nubiana) Fact Sheet, 2015" guide.
Alternate Page for Screenreader Users
Skip to Page Navigation
Skip to Page Content
sdzglibrarybanner San Diego Zoo Global Library

Nubian Ibex (Capra nubiana) Fact Sheet, 2015  

Last Updated: Dec 2, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

Summary Print Page

Nubian Ibex (Capra nubiana) Fact Sheet, 2015

Image credit: San Diego Zoo Global. All Rights Reserved.

TaxonomyPhysical Characteristics

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Cetartiodactyla

Family: Bodivae

Genus: Capra

Species: Capra nubiana* - Nubian ibex

* Treated by some as a subspecies of Capra ibex (C. i. nubiana)

Body Weight
Male: 42.0-85.0 kg (92.6-187.4 lb)
Female: 25.0-39.5 kg (55.1-87.1 lb)

Body Length
Male: 1190-1590 mm (46.9-62.6 in)
Female: 920-1210 mm (36.2-47.6 in)

Tail Length
Male: 80-170 mm (3.1-6.7 in)
Female: 65-160 mm (2.6-6.3 in)

Pelage: Tan to grayish body hair; belly and buttocks white. Legs distinctively marked with black and white.

Distribution & StatusBehavior & Ecology

Range: Portions of northeastern Africa and the Arabian peninsula.

Habitat: Desert mountains. Steep slopes provide vital routes for escaping predators. 

IUCN Status: Vulnerable C1+2a (version 3.1); decreasing population size; assessed in 2008.

CITES: Appendix II

Population in Wild: No systematic surveys; < 2,500 according to one rough estimate.

Locomotion: Walk, run, jump, and climb. Agilely navigate steep cliffs. Leap off hind legs to scale sheer canyon walls.

Activity Cycle: Active in daytime. Browse throughout the day while temperatures permit. Scale canyon walls to rest during the day and sleep at night.

Social Groups: Social animals; live in small groups. Typically consisting of multiple females, infants, juveniles, and young adults. 

Diet: Herbivores; consume grasses, forbes, and shrubs. 

Predators: Leopard (Panthera pardus), gray wolf (Canis lupus), and striped hyena (Hyaena hyaena).

Reproduction & DevelopmentSpecies Highlights

Sexual Maturity: Females mature c. 2 years of age; males at significantly older ages due to social constraints. 

Gestation: 150-163 days

Litter Size: 1-3; 1 infant typically though twins are not uncommon.

Birth Weight: 1.5-3 kg (3.3-6.6 lb)

Age at Weaning: Begin solid food by 2-4 weeks of age; weaning complete by c. 6 months.

Longevity: Short-lived in the wild; rarely over 12 years. In captivity, males live c. 10 years, females c. 11 years.

Feature Facts: Nubian ibex are characterized by their prominent, unbranched, and strongly recurved horns.These desert inhabitants are active in daylight when they browse and graze for grasses, forbes, and shrubs. Individuals most often form groups, whose structure and composition is variable. Large, reproductive males often form all-male groups whose members are minimally agonistic outside of the reproductive season. During the seasonal rut, male groups break up and individuals compete, in violent clashes, to mate with females.


About This Fact Sheet

© 2015 San Diego Zoo Global. Updated March 2015.

How to cite: Nubian Ibex (Capra nubiana) Fact Sheet, 2015. c2015. San Diego (CA): San Diego Zoo Global; [accessed YYYY Mmm dd].
(note: replace YYYY Mmm dd with date accessed, e.g., 2015 Jan 15)

Disclaimer: Although San Diego Zoo Global makes every attempt to provide accurate information, some of the facts provided may become outdated or replaced by new research findings. Questions and comments may be addressed to



Our many thanks to Dr. Philip Alkon for providing expert content review of this fact sheet. Philip currently serves as an Adjunct Professor of Wildlife Science at New Mexico State University and previously was on the faculty of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel. He has more than 30 years experience studying the behavior and ecology of desert birds and mammals .

SDZG Library Links

Our Mission. The Library is dedicated to supporting San Diego Zoo Global’s mission by providing outstanding
information resources and research services to advance knowledge and strengthen our organization’s capacity to save
species worldwide. Our Vision. We will empower San Diego Zoo Global to lead the fight against extinction by serving as
the organization’s information hub and facilitating research of the highest quality.

© 2016 San Diego Zoo Global — All Rights Reserved

Our Family of Sites

  • Zoo logoSan Diego Zoo
  • Park logoSan Diego Zoo Safari Park
  • ICR logoSan Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research
  • SDZ Global logoSan Diego Zoo Global

Loading  Loading...