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

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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 population’s 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.
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Format
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
Audience
Intended End User Role
Language
Educational Language
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.
Primary Author Controlled Name
Primary Author Affiliation Parco Nazionale Gran Paradiso

Biology Program, Wilkes University
Primary Author email cogne@pngp.it, kklemow@wilkes.edu
Rights Copyright 2004 by the Ecological Society of America.
Date Of Record Submission 2008-04-02

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