Capra aegagrus hircus

A portrait of a Girgentana goat feeding on a branch. IUCN Red List endangerment category:
  • Family
    Bovids (Bovidae)
  • Weight
    ♀ 40 – 50 kg, ♂ 65 – 80 kg

Goats under threat

In the 1970s, the Girgentana was displaced by dairy goat breeds that provide more milk. With a yield of only ca. 400 litres per year, it was not able to keep up with conventional breeds that produce ca. 1,000 litres per year. As a result, the population at the end of the 20th century was offi cially listed as approx mately 50 individuals. Today, thanks to conservation breeding programmes there are now around 900 individuals living in Italy and Germany.

Exotic horns

Particularly striking are the Girgentana’s characteristic corkscrew horns, which can grow up to 60 cm long. Unlike German domestic goat breeds, the Sicilian goat is not thought to be a descendant of the Bezoar or wild goat, but instead of the Markhor in Asia.

The Girgentana owes its name to the Sicilian province of Girgenti (Agrigento). The hardy species can survive in barren landscape, dry conditions and high temperatures.


Distribution map Girgentana goat