(Ovis ammon)




Facts about this animal

The argali is the largest of all wild sheep, males standing 104-120 cm at the shoulder. The horns of the rams measure 90-100 cm or more. The record trophies vary according to subspecies, e.g. they are larger in the Marco Polo sheep than ion the Gobi argali.

Did you know?
that at the Gun-Galuut Nature Reserve in Mongolia, you have opportunities of watching these beautiful animals from specially prepared shelters from the closest distance? The animals are really calm because they are well protected and, therefore, not afraid of humans.


Name (Scientific) Ovis ammon
Name (English) Argali
Name (French) Argali; Mouflon d'Asie; Mouflon d'Eurasie
Name (German) Argali; Asiatisches Wildschaf; Mufflon
Name (Spanish) Argalí; Muflón argal; Muflón de Marco Polo
Local names Ladakhi: Nayan (male), Nayanmo (female Tibetan: Nyang
CITES Status Appendix II (O. a. argali), Appendix I (O. a. nigrimontana and O. a. hodgsonii)
CMS Status Not listed



Photo Copyright by
Vladislav Jiroušek



Range Highlands of Central Asia: Ovis ammon ammon: China, Mongolia, Russian Federation Ovis ammon collium: Kazakhstan Ovis ammon darwini: China, Mongolia (Gobi argali) Ovis ammon hodgsoni:Bhutan, China, India, Nepal Ovis ammon jubata: China Ovis ammon karelini: China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan Ovis ammon nigrimontana: Kazakhstan Ovis ammon polii: Afghanistan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan Ovis ammon severtzovi: Uzbekistan, extinct in Kazakhstan
Habitat On hilly terrain and on steep slopes near hight mountains, above 1300m above sea level, in dryer habitat.
Wild population No data for the species as such. Subspecies collium less than 8,000, jubata 600-700, karelini less than 10,500, nigrimontana less than 250, polii less than 15,000 (all data according to IUCN, 1997)
Zoo population 14 (mostly O. a. collium) reported to ISIS (2007)

In the Zoo



How this animal should be transported

For air transport, Container Note 73 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.


Find this animal on ZooLex


Photo Copyright by
Vladislav Jiroušek

Why do zoos keep this animal

Regrettably only very few zoos keep the argali, which would be a perfect ambassador species for its habitat, the Central Asian mountain ranges and grasslands. For some of the subspecies the building up of an ex situ insurance population might be beneficial, but currently there are no coordinated conservation breeding programmes.