Gran Paradiso National Park


With the succesful effort to repopulate the Gran Paradiso National Park in northwest Italy with alpine ibex, it is now a fairly common sight to see the wild goats on the near vertical face of the Cingino Dam, licking the salt incrusted stones.

Top 2 photographs by Maurizio Piazzai.
Bottom photograph by Stanislao Basileo.

From National Geographic Photo Of The Day; January 28, 2015:
Alpine Oasis Stefano Unterthiner, National Geographic
Summer night falls over an alpine meadow stippled with wildflowers in Italy’s Gran Paradiso National Park. In a busy country on a crowded continent, Gran Paradiso’s unspoiled landscape is an arcadian oasis.
See more pictures from the February 2015 feature story “Paradise Found.”

Northern Chamois  (Alpine Chamois, Chamois, Balkan Chamois, Gamuza)

The Northern Chamois, Rupicapra rupicapra (Artiodactyla - Bovidae), is a small but agile animal, similar to a goat, and adapted to cold, highland terrain.

They occur in mountain ranges of south-central Europe and Asia Minor, including the Alps, Carpathians, Balkans, and Caucasus. They have also been introduced to New Zealand.

Both male and female chamois bear slender, black horns. Measuring up to 203 mm, the closely set horns rise almost vertically from the forehead and then bend abruptly backwards to form hooks.

The flesh of chamois is prized by some people, the skin is made into shammy leather for cleaning glass and polishing cars. So, poaching and over-hunting may be a problem for the species in parts of its range, especially where it occurs outside protected areas and private hunting reserves.  

References: [1] - [2

Photo credit: ©Giovanni Mari | Locality: Gran Paradiso National Park, Italy

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