In early November, snow and ice already cover the Tatra mountains. Slopes and valleys seem devoid of life
The faint silhouette of a chamois appears in the freezing fog that brings the temperature to several degrees below zero
A closer look reveal icycles and the effects of the unrelenting weather on the chamois habitat
Tatra chamois spend almost the whole year on steep and rugged terrain, where avalanches and other threats may keep humans and predators at bay
Food can be found by patiently digging under the crust of frozen snow
A female with her kid graze dry and poorly nutritious grass found under the snow cover. Only few young chamois survive their first winter
During the rut, an adult male chamois in its prime, the flanks wet of its own urine to spread its sexual pheromones, bellows to challenge its rivals
A male answers to a rival's bellow
In a wave of fresh snow, an adult male runs hastily down from a cliff
Its rival rushes in the deep snow
The chase begins, with the two males running down from a very steep slope in full speed. The chamois might chase eachother for minutes and cover long distances
An aroused male wreaks havoc in the herd of females and young
A urinating female is approached by a male, which checks her oestrus status by curling its upper lips (“flehmen”)
The thick winter coat and several adaptations allow these hardy animals to stand even the harshest weather conditions
An endangered Tatra chamois is portrayed in its mountain habitat, made of rock, ice and wind
info[@]brunodamicis[dot]com / P.IVA 10314821009 / © 2015 Bruno D'Amicis