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Gran Paradiso National Park: what is causing young ibexes to die out?

Soon no playmates left? Unknown causes are resulting in the death of young Alpine Ibexes at the Gran Paradiso National Park/I.

Soon no playmates left? Unknown causes are resulting in the death of young Alpine Ibexes at the Gran Paradiso National Park/I. @ Josef Senn

Since the foundation of Italy's first national park in 1922, the Alpine Ibex has been preserved from extinction for the past 100 years or so. Now the ibex population at the Gran Paradiso National Park/I is seriously at risk. Three quarters of the young animals are dying during their first year of life. In 1993 the population totalled around 5'000 animals; today the population at the Gran Paradiso National Park is just under half that number. It is still unclear what is causing the death of the young bi-ungulates.
Vets and researchers have drawn up a number of hypotheses and possible explanations. One cause might be a pathogen that generally affects all goats, but some animals have developed a resistance to it. Another hypothesis is based on the lack of snow in recent decades, which favours the survival of older ibexes. They in turn tend to give birth to weaker offspring. The third assumption is linked to climate change. With spring now coming earlier, the vegetation grows quicker, which means that once the kids are weaned all that is left for them to feed on is dried, fibrous grass that is low in protein and nutrients.
Sources: http://archiviostorico.corriere.it/2010/agosto/02 (it), www.nzz.ch/nachrichten/panorama/in_den (de)