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The chamois is a large sized mountain goat, native to the European mountains. Today, the range of the chamois includes Romania, Italy, Switzerland, Austria and parts of Turkey. The chamois has also been introduced to the mountainous regions of New Zealand's South Island.

The chamois is a member of the Bovidae family of animals which includes sheep goats and even antelope. The average sized adult chamois stands at around 75cm high and weighs roughly 50 kg. The chamois is a relatively stocky looking animal, especially when compared to the average farmyard goat.

The chamois has short horns, that curve backwards on both the male chamois and the female chamois. The fur of the chamois is thick to keep it warm in the alpine winters, and turns from a deep brown colour in the summer to a grey colour in the winter. The chamois also has a white coloured face with black markings below the eyes. The chamois has a black stripe that runs along it's back from neck to rump.

The male chamois is generally a very solitary animal, as the male chamois spends most of the year grazing alone and meets with female chamois during the mating season. The female chamois however, live in herds with other females and their young. This safety in numbers approach helps the female chamois and the offspring to protect one another.

As with other animals of the same group, such as sheep and goats, the chamois is a herbivorous animal feeding on a purely plant based diet. The chamois spends it time grazing on the alpine meadows and munching leaves from the shrubs and bushes.

In it's natural European habitat, the chamois has a number of predators including wolves, foxes and wildcats. Over the years, the human has been one of the biggest predators of the chamois as they are hunted for their meat. Before human settlers moved into the European mountains, the chamois would have also had much larger predators such as bears and leopards but both are nearly (if not) extinct in Europe today. There are no natural predators of the chamois in it's introduced environment in New Zealand.

The mating season of the chamois occurs in the late winter to early spring. After a gestation period of between 5 and 6 months, the female chamois will give birth to a single chamois baby known as a chamois calf. Although the chamois has been known to give birth to twins, it is very rare. The mother chamois nurses her calf, feeding it milk until it is able to graze. The chamois calf is more independent at 6 months of age but the chamois calf tends to stay with it's mother until it is at least a year old. Generally, the chamois lives to between 18 and 22 years.

Despite the fact that the chamois is not considered to be an endangered animal, or even an animal that is under threat from extinction, European laws prohibits the hunting of the chamois in order to try and conserve native mountainous animal species.

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Chamois Translations

Bulgarian български език
Дива коза
Bosnian Bosanski
Catalan Català
Czech Cesky
Kamzík horský
German Deutsch
English English
Esperanto Esperanto
Spanish Español
Rupicapra rupicapra
Finnish Suomi
French Français
Galician Galego
Hungarian Magyar
Italian Italiano
Rupicapra rupicapra
Japanese 日本語
Dutch Nederlands
Gems (dier)
Norwegian Norsk
Polish Polski
Portuguese Português
Rupicapra rupicapra
Romanian Româna
Capra neagră
Slovenian Slovenščina
Swedish Svenska
Chinese 中文

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Chamois Facts

Five groups that classify all living things...
A group of animals within the animal kingdom...
A group of animals within a pylum...
A group of animals within a class...
A group of animals within an order...
A group of animals within a family...
Scientific Name:
Comprised of the genus followed by the species...
Rupicapra Rupicapra
The animal group that the species belongs to...
What kind of foods the animal eats...
Size (H):
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is...
75cm - 80cm (30in - 31in)
The measurement of how heavy the animal is...
50kg - 55kg (110lbs - 121lbs)
Top Speed:
The fastest recorded speed of the animal...
17km/h (10mph)
Life Span:
How long the animal lives for...
18 - 22 years
Whether the animal is solitary or sociable...
Conservation Status:
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct...
Least Concern
The colour of the animal's coat or markings...
Brown, Grey, Black, Tan, White
Skin Type:
The protective layer of the animal...
Favourite Food:Grass
The specific area where the animal lives...
Mountainous and rocky terrain
Average Litter Size:
The average number of babies born at once...
Main Prey:
The food that the animal gains energy from...
Grass, Leaves, Shrubs
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal...
Human, Wolf, Wildcats
Distinctive Features:
Characteristics unique to the animal...
Black and white face markings and backward curving horns

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Renew their horns every year!
Most closely related to the Sheep!
Around 35 million in the English countryside!
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