Chamois

Biology

Biology
Nutrition
 
The chamois changes its taste preferences according to the seasons. The most common foods in her menu during  spring and summer are grass species. During this period, it also eats coniferous species such as dwarf pine, spruce and fir, but to a much lesser extent. In winter, when the grass vegetation is covered with a thick snow cover, twigs buds and fringes of various tree and shrub species begin to predominate in its diet. For these species, food is very important and determines their habitat. The areas with preferred food during the different seasons are also the places where the herds stay the longest.

Reproduction and development
The mating season for chamois is usually in November and is determined by the decreasing day. The birth is after about six months in the spring.  For chamois, reaching sexual maturity depends not only on biology, but also on external factors such as available food, herd density and the behavior of other goats. Under favorable conditions, females can successfully give birth in their second year, and in worse - after their third year. For males, there is also a significant difference between sexual maturity and participation in reproduction. Although some males are able to have offspring in their second year, they begin to take an active part in marriage only after their fourth year - when they are strong enough to fight for females with their older and more experienced rivals. To determine their leadership, the males organize duels, which sometimes lead to clashes with horns and even to killed rivals. But more often the battles for supremacy end only with intimidation and chasing on the rocks, until the weaker or inexperienced goat gives up.
 
Shortly before giving birth, the females separate from the herd and give birth in a closed place surrounded by trees. The chamois is a very caring mother. She takes care of both her newborns and her older one- and two-years-old kids. To keep them better, the females organize something like kindergartens, in which several mothers take care of their youngs together. Usually chamois gives birth to one, rarely two kids, which, although perfectly adapted from birth and can move on their own, follow their mothers inextricably and obediently until they are old enough to survive on their own. 







Seasonal and day-and-night​ activity. Migrations
Chamois are active during the day. At night they rest or sleep in hidden and hard to reach places. There are evidences of full moon grazing, but they are extremely rare. Their activity also depends on the seasons. During the warm months they avoid the heat and therefore prefer to graze mainly in the early morning and evening, and for the rest of the time to rest in the shades. In winter or on days with fog and clouds, when they are more actively looking for the sun, they look for food all day and graze for a longer time.
Chamois migrate to different habitats in winter and summer. From July to November they spend more time in the alpine than in the wooded areas. From January to June they go down to the forest. Migrations also depend on their age. Usually, larger migrations are carried out by young.