Saturday, November 5, 2011

Pyrenean Ibex

Capra pyrenaica pyrenaica
The Pyrenean Ibex is an extinct subspecies of Spanish Ibex. No one is really sure why they went extinct, though there are a number of different hypotheses floating around, including the inability to compete with livestock and other species, hunting, and disease.

The last Pyrenean Ibex died only a decade ago. Efforts were made before that to try and place individuals in captivity, or to even crossbreed them with other subspecies, but these actions failed. The last male died in 1993, and the last female, a 13 year old named Celia, died in 2000 after being crushed by a tree.

Luckily, tissue samples were collected from Celia before her death, and using those cells scientists worked to clone the Ibex back into existence. Efforts in 2003 failed, and no infants were carried to term. However, in 2009 a young Pyrenean Ibex was born, making it the first animal to become un-extinct. Unfortunately the kid died shortly after birth from a lung defect.

The short-lived success of the Pyrenean Ibex cloning program demonstrates the possibilities that exist for preserving and reviving rare and extinct species. While cloning Woolly Mammoths is still a dream, there are several agencies that are preserving samples from the world's endangered species, including the Frozen Ark Project.

IUCN Status : Extinct since 2000
Location : France and Spain
Size : Height up to 29in (75cm)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Mammalia -- Order : Artiodactyla
Family : Bovidae -- Genus : Capra -- Species : C. pyrenaica -- Subspecies : C. p. pyrenaica

5 comments:

  1. its sad that the last one died not long ago

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  2. Stinks even more that it was a pretty tragic death :(

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  3. it is so sad that it had to happen.
    I am doing a report on it. :-(

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  4. :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-(

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