ARGALI/Behaviour, Distribution, Habitat, Size, Weight, IUCN stetus



DESCRIPTION: The Argali is largest among India’s wild sheep. Both sexes sport a light grey-brown pelage in summer, darker along the back, with white face, undersides and a white rump. The dark upper sides are separated from the light undersides by a dark lateral line. In winter, the red in the coat gives way to darker grey. Males (rams) are about three times the size of the female (ewes) and in winter develop a long creamy white ruff that ends on a grey–brown shoulder. Unlike the Urial, the Argali ram has a ruff that extends over most of its neck. The rams have massive curled horns with their tips pointing outwards from the spiral and sometimes upwards as well. The Argali has heavier horns and a larger white rump than many other subspecies of O.ammon. The horns are so massive that often they show brooming and in older males are broken off near the tip. The tail is short and black-tipped. As both ends of the male are white and the back dark, itlooks very much like a light sheep wearing a dark dinner-jacket. Ewes are smaller than males as in most sheep, have smaller horns that are less ribbed than males and their rump patches are not as distinct as those of the rams. Argali young are dark grey and, as yearlings, start assuming adult pelage.
BEHAVIOUR: Does not seek cover even when running from predators such as wolf, tending to outrun them. It is common for females to give birth to twins.
DISTRIBUTION: Eastern Ladakh including the trans-Himalayan regions of Gya Miru, Chang Chen Mo and Tso Kar in Ladakh,  Jammu & Kashmir. It was thought to be found very rarely in Sikkim208 but may be found more commonly on the border with Tibet. Still extremely rare in Lahaul and Spiti in Himachal Pradesh.
HABITAT: High rolling hillsides, rarely in valleys or rugged areas. Avoids cliffs and areas with more than 20 cm of snow. Separated ecologically from the Urial by occupying higher alpine meadows than the Urial and avoiding broken ground lower down.

Size: 150 cm 

Wt: 98–105 kg

IUCN Status: Near Threatened 


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