Iberian ibex: the rock stars of Granada

In Spain's Granada province Iberian ibex are skilled climbers capable of jumping over canyons, sheltering on tiny ledges and walking on sharp ridges. Photographer Ugo Mellone spent time documenting (and trying to keep up with) these wild goats.

The Iberian ibex is endemic to the Iberian Peninsula and lives in rocky habitats. © Ugo Mellone

About the photographer

Ugo Mellone, originally born in Italy in 1983, has lived in Spain since 2008. After getting a PhD studying raptor migration, he now works full-time on photographic projects.

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His photos have been published in several magazines, including BBC Wildlife, Terre Sauvage, New Scientist, and he has been category winner in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year (2015).

You can view more photos on his website.

This gallery features some of the images which originally appeared in BBC Wildlife’s May 2017 issue.

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To view the images as a slideshow, click on the arrows in the top right hand corner of the photos below.

Male and female Iberian ibex live apart for most of the year but come together for the mating season (in November and December) © Ugo Mellone
Male and female Iberian ibex live apart for most of the year but come together for the mating season (in November and December) © Ugo Mellone
Large, flexible hooves and short legs enable the Iberian ibex to run and leap across the exposed, steep slopes. © Ugo Mellone
Large, flexible hooves and short legs enable the Iberian ibex to run and leap across the exposed, steep slopes. © Ugo Mellone
Of the four described subspecies, only two are extant: the western Iberian ibex and the southeastern Iberian ibex © Ugo Mellone
Of the four described subspecies, only two are extant: the western Iberian ibex and the southeastern Iberian ibex. © Ugo Mellone
Iberian ibex are perfectly at home in the dramatic landscapes. © Ugo Mellone
Iberian ibex are perfectly at home in the dramatic landscapes. © Ugo Mellone
The Iberian ibex is endemic to the Iberian Peninsula and lives in rocky habitats. © Ugo Mellone
The Iberian ibex is endemic to the Iberian Peninsula and lives in rocky habitats. © Ugo Mellone
A male traverses an almost vertical clay cliff just after sunset in the Gaudix basin. © Ugo Mellone
A male traverses an almost vertical clay cliff just after sunset in the Gaudix basin. © Ugo Mellone
A male ibex rests during snowfall in Sierra Nevada. © Ugo Mellone
A male ibex rests during snowfall in Sierra Nevada. © Ugo Mellone
A female ibex runs alongside a mountain lake. © Ugo Mellone
A female ibex runs alongside a mountain lake. © Ugo Mellone
In the Sierra Nevada mountains, at least 10 per cent of females give birth to twins. © Ugo Mellone
In the Sierra Nevada mountains, at least 10 per cent of females give birth to twins. © Ugo Mellone
Lakes and meadows break up the monotonous rocky landscape of the Sierra Nevada. © Ugo Mellone
Lakes and meadows break up the monotonous rocky landscape of the Sierra Nevada. © Ugo Mellone
This two-month old kid will remain with its mother for a year, until the next birthing season. © Ugo Mellone
This two-month old kid will remain with its mother for a year, until the next birthing season. © Ugo Mellone
A female walks through a pine grove with her kid during winter. © Ugo Mellone
A female walks through a pine grove with her kid during winter. © Ugo Mellone