Fauna. The Chamois SI

Fauna. The Chamois

This issue is dedicated to the fauna of the Pyrenees, the mountain range that shapes the Andorran terrain. One of the most characteristic examples of the mountains and valleys of our neighbouring country is the izard or chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra), a bovid that can be found in some European ranges.

One variety of this species is the Rupicapra pyrenaica which lives in the Pyrenees, the Cantabrian range and the Apennines. The chamois lives at the highest elevations of the Andorran Pyrenees, where it cohabitates with the pine marten and various species of birds of prey

Like all bovids, chamois males and females both have horns. The horns differ in size, thickness and shape, which is more hooked in males. Their coat varies depending on the season: in summer it has a yellowish tinge while in cold winter months it turns dark grey. The fur on their head and neck is light-coloured and there is a dark mask-like spot around their eyes.

They measure between 110 and 130 centimetres long when fully grown. They have thin hooves with central pads, allowing them to climb rocks and ice without any difficulty. Males are usually heavier than females.

They are herbivores, in summer preferring high pastures and wandering among crags and cliffs to find grasses and herbaceous plants; in winter they descend into wooded areas and browse on leaves, shoots and even soft woody stems.

They are social animals, especially during daytime hours, and they move around in small groups in search of food. The males stay apart from the females with their young, sometimes alone. They only come back together to mate, which usually happens between October and November. During this period groups of males follow the females and violent battles ensue between them, clashing heads in attempts win the greatest number of females with which to mate. Gestation lasts about twenty weeks, and there is generally only one offspring per litter; the animals reach sexual maturity between two and four years old. 

Technical Details

Issue Date: 09.02.2015
Process: Offset
Size: 40.9 x 28.8
Values: 1€