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A herd of alpine ibex (Capra ibex) struggling to move through deep snow.

A herd of alpine ibex (Capra ibex) struggles through deep snow. A recent study examined 45 years of census data for a population of alpine ibex in Gran Paradiso National Park in northwestern Italy. Researchers found that in the absence of natural predators and human hunting, density dependence and the severity of winter weather limit the populationís size. Severe winter weather affects population size by decreasing juvenile survival. During severe winters, the probability of starvation increases for juveniles through the higher energy costs of thermoregulation and decreased food available due to deep snow. This photograph originally appeared on the cover of Ecology (85:6) in June of 2004.
Temporal and geographic description Cogne Valley of Gran Paradiso National Park, Italy. (Parco Nazionale Gran Paradiso Via della Rocca.)
Primary or BEN resource type
Discipline Specific Core Concepts
Life science discipline (subject)
Keywords snow,weather,winter,population,limitation,survival
Key taxa ibex, Capra ibex
Intended End User Role
Educational Language
Pedagogical Use Category
Pedagogical Use Description This photograph can be used to illustrate ibex, an ungulate population, extreme winter weather, population limitation by environmental factors, or a large mammal population living in a preserve where human hunting and predators are absent.
Aggregation Level
Full Name of Primary Author Luciano Ramires
Primary Author Controlled Name
Primary Author Affiliation Parco Nazionale Gran Paradiso

Biology Program, Wilkes University
Primary Author email,
Added By Id
  • educationintern
Rights Copyright 2004 by the Ecological Society of America.
Review type
Drought and Water Ecosystem Services Collection Off
Conservation Targets Under Global Change Collection Off
Big Data Collection Off
Editors Choice No
Resource Status
Date Of Record Submission 2008-04-02
I Agree to EcoEdDL's Copyright Policy & Terms of Use No
Date Of Record Release 2010-02-16 00:51:46
Last Modified By Id
  • mcmilla
Date Last Modified 2013-03-29 14:44:46
Release Flag Published

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