Argali wild sheep
Under threat from human interference
The Argali sheep is related to the universally known domestic sheep. It is approximately the same length as a domestic sheep but it is much taller and heavier than its domesticated relative.
Argali inhabit high altitude regions, usually 3,000-5,000 m. Habitat varies according to geographic location, but includes mountains, steppe valleys and rocky outcrops and open desert.
Their coat ranges from light yellow to darker grey-brown in colour. Face and underparts are lighter.
Argali males also have a whitish neck ruff and a dorsal crest. Whilst females also have horns, the male corkscrew horns are much bigger.
Shoulder height: 90-120cm
The gestation period is 150-160 days, with litter size usually 1-2 lambs.
Afghanistan, China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan
Central and Southern Asian mountains
Temperate Forests, Grasslands and Shrublands; Rocky areas and Cold desert
What are the main threats?
- Over-hunting and poaching
- Competition from introduction of domestic sheep
- Disease transmission from domestic sheep
- Habitat loss
What is WWF doing?
It supports projects which provide alternative livelihoods to local communties and aims to ensure habitat and grazing grounds are protected.
It also provides support to authorities seeking to improve regulation and monitoring of hunting. For example, WWF Mongolia worked with the government to produce a conservation management plan for the argali.