Mont Blanc Wildlife

Mont Blanc & wildlife


Mont Blanc’s wildlife doesn’t get the attention it deserves really, with cols and glaciers, valleys and vertiginous views catching all the photo shoots and press attention. We are obsessed with the achievements of humans, as we strive to tick off the metre markings at our favourite points of elevation. While all the time the mountain wildlife skips from peak to peak, or piste to piste, with such natural aplomb and survival instinct, it is worth stopping and celebrating their natural merit.


Living underground, these chipmunk-like critters are easily recognizable by their ‘standing’ position, as they keep upright while on guard looking out for potential predators. If you are considered a danger, the chief guard will whistle out to the others to scarper.


The alpine ibex looks a bit like a large goat, with the male boasting rather elegant curved horns which have ridged lines on the front. Conservation agencies have worked hard to protect wild animals on Mont Blanc, so give them their space and let them stay wild in their natural habitat. Which is generally at altitudes over 2000 metres and on rocky terrain.


Once hunted for their coats, chamois leather being a prized, highly waterproof material, they are now simply to be admired. Almost. Hunters can still shoot them, but with strict guidelines. Also a member of the goat family, the chamois is smaller than the ibex, has white facial markings and a brown stripe along its back.
Photo credits: [Ibex: Olivier Bain] [chamois: Fulvio Spada] [marmot: Karlis Dambrans]
Written by Catherine Mack
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