During the 18th century, the Alpine Ibex became extinct in Switzerland. Only a small population in Italy/France (Gran Paradiso and Vanoise Massif) remained. When I was a child, I concluded that it would be extremely unlikely that I would ever see one.
Today the total population of Ibexes comprises about 45’000 animals with several groups in the Swiss alps. The species might be considered as not threatened, but the genetic diversity is low.
During our involuntary vacation week at home we went for a hike at the Niederhorn and met a population. We found two groups: the first was small – three males. In a distance of maybe 10 walking minutes was a female-and-offspring group, comprising about 25 animals.
Of course I had the necessary gear to take some pictures: a 24-105 zoom lens and my 120-300 zoom lens.