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CHAMOIS

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CHAMOIS

The chamois is the most iconic large mammal of the high mountains of Greece. but it is also one of the most endangered animals in the Balkan peninsula. It feeds mainly on herbaceous plants, and complements its diet with leaves, tree branches and lichens. Its ideal habitat is steep wooded slopes topped by craggy peaks. The characteristic feature of both male and female chamois are the horns, which are upright and bent backwards -like a fishhook. This species lives in seven different geographical regions of Greece: in the north, central-south Pindos, central Greece, on Mount Olympus, Rodopi mountains, Jena-Pinovo, and Nemertsika. There are 19 independent groups, with about 700 chamois in total. They are considered rare, even in areas with the highest population densities.

CHAMOIS

  • Poaching: according to Greek legislation, it is a protected species and hunting is prohibited throughout the Greek territory.
  • Degradation of habitat by overgrazing.
  • Genetic weakening of the species by the gradual shrinking of the population.
  • As a species, it is listed in the category "rare", in the Red Book of Threatened Species of Greece.

CHAMOIS

  • Their weight ranges from 28 to 45 kg, and they normally live for 15-20 years.
  • Their hide is a light brown in summer, which turns dark brown, almost black, in winter.
  • It does not belong to the same species as the wild goat (also known as goat or ibex) in Crete, and it should not be crossed with a goat.
  • They form small herds, which are normally led by an adult female. Only the old animals, especially males, are isolated.
  • Violent confrontations are rather rare, and hierarchy ensured with characteristic postures and attitudes, until each finds its place in the herd.
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