A wild goat subspecies native to northern Greek mountain ranges, Rupicarpa rupicarpa balcanica, is now threatened with extinction, mostly because it is the most sought after trophy for local and Albanian poachers who cross the border along Mt. Grammos in the northwest to hunt the specific animal, biologist Haritakis Papaioannou told the ANA-MPA on Wednesday.

A study on local hoofed animals entitled “Monitoring of fauna species on Grammos Mountain range”, conducted within the framework of a research by Arcturos environmental organization, has showed that the wild goat population in the region is very small made up of roughly 50 members expected to be further reduced in numbers due to poaching practices. The entire wild goat population across Greece is roughly 700 individuals.

A small population increase is being recorded in just four regions, the Vikos-Aoos National Park, the mountains Olympus and Giona and the Fraktos Forest. However, this trend can be reversed easily unless an effective preservation mechanism and a National Action Plan for the wild goat are set up.

According to Greek legislation, the wild goat is a protected wildlife species and its hunting is forbidden.