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October 26, 2022

In 2019, WSF hosted the 7th World Mountain Ungulate Conference in Bozeman, Montana. This conference was the first time this gathering focused on mountain ungulates, primarily wild sheep and wild goat species (Caprinae species) worldwide, was held in North America. Kurt Alt, WSF's Conservation Director for International Programs, was the conference's principal organizer.

During September 27-30, this conference returned to Europe, and Kurt Alt represented WSF at the 8th World Mountain Ungulate Conference in Cogné, Italy. The principal organizers of this year's conference were Bruno Bassano, Alice Brambilla, and Sonia Calderola with Gran Paradiso National Park, Italy, in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Park.

"An important part of WSF's international programs is building professional relationships with the world's wild sheep and wild goat expertise, including members of the IUCN Caprinae Specialist Group," Alt explained. "At this year's conference, biological expertise came from four continents, including North America, Europe, and Central, South, and Western Asia."

In addition to the formal conference presentations and during the field trip to view Alpine Ibex and Chamois, many essential discussions occurred. These discussions ranged from meeting with representatives from Tajikistan regarding their successful Markhor survey and ongoing issues with Marco Polo import permits to the potential for European Alpine Ibex restoration projects.

Alt concluded by saying, "WSF made clear our support for and collaboration with the Caprinae Specialist group, i.e., the group responsible for species assessments for the world's Caprinae species."

From Left to right – Juan Herrero (Chair, Caprinae Specialist Group), Luca Corlatti, Dr. Sandro Lovari ( Caprinae Specialist Group), Alice Brambilla and Bruno Bassano, principle organizers (Gran Paradiso National Park, Italy), Kurt Alt (WSF Conservation Director, International Programs)

Left to right…Arash Ghoddousi (Caprinae Specialist Group), Kurt Alt (WSF, Conservation Director, International Programs), Tajikistan Committee for Environmental Protection - Sino Tohirzoda & Khurshed Shansuddinov, Juan Herrero (Chair, Caprinae Specialist Group.  On field trip to observe Chamois and Alpine Ibex.

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