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
The name of the animal in science
The animal group that the species belongs to
What kind of foods the animal eats
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)|
The fastest recorded speed of the animal
How long the animal lives for
|18 - 22 years|
Whether the animal is solitary or sociable
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct
The colour of the animal's coat or markings
|Brown, Grey, Black, Tan, White|
The protective layer of the animal
The preferred food of this animal
The specific area where the animal lives
|Mountainous and rocky terrain|
|Average Litter Size:|
The average number of babies born at once
The food that the animal gains energy from
|Grass, Leaves, Shrubs|
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal
|Human, Wolf, Wildcats|
Characteristics unique to this animal
|Black and white face markings and backward curving horns|
Map of Europe
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 its time grazing on the alpine meadows and munching leaves from the shrubs and bushes.
In its 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 its 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 prohibit the hunting of the chamois in order to try and conserve native mountainous animal species.
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First Published: 1st October 2009, Last Updated: 8th November 2019
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