At the end of the 19th century, no more than 20 Spanish ibex were left in the Gredos mountain range. The population experienced a significant decline due to several factors, including habitat loss, poaching, and disease.
Concerned with the situation, a group of hunters met with King Alfonso XIII, himself a hunter, to see what could be done. The king established a royal hunting reserve in the Gredos mountains. Poaching at that time was for the meat.
The more wily poachers were persuaded to change their ways and become gamekeepers. Over the years, the careful management of hunting and conservation initiatives in the Gredos range led to a remarkable recovery of the Spanish ibex population.
Through habitat restoration, anti-poaching measures, and controlled hunting, the species rebounded and began to thrive once again.