Argali Ovis ammon (Linné, 1758)


English: Argali; French: Argali; Chinese: Pan yan; Kirghiz: Rasa; Mongol: Argal; Pashto: Zahrahii Gada; Russian: Pamirsskij Baran, Altajsskij Baran, Tschanschansskij Baran, Karatausskij Baran, Kasaksstansskij Baran, Kisilkumsskij Baran; Tibetan: Nup Arat ikiwk; Turki: Achar; Urdu: Jangli dumba.

Ovis a. ammon
Ovis a. ammon

Former distribution: As now; in restricted areas.
Present distribution: The Pamir Mountains from Afghanistan, Pakistan, into China; Tienshan and Xizang (Tibet), USSR; Altai, Kazakhstan, Karatau, Aktau und Nuratau in Turkestan; northern Mongolia; Altai, and southern Mongolia, Gobi.
Behaviour: See Mufflon
Population status: Rare. Estimated numbers: no records. Mongolia: 75 000 acc. to BUYANDELGER 1988, pers. comm.
Brief notes:
Body weight: 140-180 kg
Head and body length: 180-200 cm
Tail length: 10-15 cm
Shoulder height: 110-130 cm
Gestation period: 5-6 months
Maximum age: 12-15 years
Trophy: Record SCI: 263 2/8 score, 1970 Mongolia, Altai, C.J. MCELROY; average 210 score. RW’s: 263 3/4 points, 1970 Mongolia, Altai, C.J. MCELROY; average 200 points. CIC: 710.90 points, 1973 Mongolia, Altai; average 500 points.
Hunting methods: Stalking, on horseback.
Subspecies: 6
1. Altai Argali Ovis a. ammon syn. to mongolica, jubata USSR, Altai Mountains; north and west Mongolia. Stable. Estimated numbers: USSR 400. Mongolia: 15 000 (pers. comm. BUYANDELGER, 1988).
2. Karatau Argali Ovis a. nigrimontana Karatau regions, USSR rare. Estimated numbers: No records. Trophy: Record RW’s: 35 3/4″, 1909, USSR, D. CARRUTHERS. CIC: 487.00 points, 1977 USSR, n. n.
3. Pamir Argali Ovis a. polii Pamir mountains and adjacent Tienshan. Rare: northern Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kashmir, China. Estimated numbers: 10 000? USSR (LECHNER, W.a.H. 1987). Chinese Pamirs: a few hundreds (pers. comm. LEE, 1987): Pakistan Pamirs: 20-30; Afghan Pamirs: no records. Trophy: Record SCI: 220 score, 1971, Mir, RICHRAD CARLSBERG; average 185 score. RW’s: 226 7/8 points, Kashmir, E.T. GATES; average 185 points. CIC: 576.30 points, 1970 USSR, n.n., average 475 points.
4. Gobi Argali Ovis a. darwini Southern Mongolia, Gobi desert, Northern China, Nei Monggol (Inner Mongolia). Stable. Estimated numbers: Mongolia: 60 000 (pers. comm. BUYANDELGER,1988). Trophy: Record SCI: IWA score, 1982 Mongolia, ALBERT E. CHERAMIE; average 160 score. RW’s: 218 3/8 po ints, 1980 Mongolia, P. BUSNELLI; average 160 points. CIC: 489.60 points, 1972 Mongolia, n.n.
5. Tienshan Argali Ovis a. karelini, syn. to heinsii, collium, sairensis, littledalei, humei USSR; Tienshan Mountains, north to the Balkhash Lake, Sait Mountains, south to the Alexandrovski Mountains; Alatau regions. Stable. Estimated numbers: No records. Trophy: Record RW’s: 54 1/2″, 1921, USSR, D. CARRUTHERS. CIC: 491.30 points, 1975 USSR OMSK ? D. C.; average 390 points.
6. Tibetan Argali Ovis a. hodgsoni syn. to biythi, brookei, dalai-lamae, adametzi From Ladakh east along the Himalayas to Bhutan and north into Xizang plateau (Tibet) to the Lop Nor and east to the Nan Shan mountains. Endangered. Estimated numbers: approx. 400 in lit. GEIST, 1987. Trophy: Record SCI: 180 score, 1976, Ladakh, R. E. SPEEGLE; average 175 score. RW’s: 55 1/8″, 1898 Tibet, ARNOLD PIKE.
Remarks: The validity of the subspecies is still uncertain and a revision overdue. HEPTNER (1966) lists 9 subspecies; CLARK (1978) 12; VALDEZ (1982) 6; and ROWLAND WARD (1986) 8. The author follows the definition of VALDEZ and includes 6 (as above). After heavy losses during the last 50 years, due to uncontrolled hunting, diseases, loss of habitat and overgrazing by large herds of domestic sheep and goats, the Argalis are slowly recovering and the populations stabilizing. Good management and control must be maintained for the Argalis in Mongolia.

Ovis a. ammon