Barbary Sheep

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Related to Ammotragus lervia: aoudad, Aoudad sheep, African aoudad sheep

Barbary Sheep

 

(Ammotragus lervia), ruminant, cloven-footed mammals of the family Bovidae. They occupy an intermediate position between goats and sheep. Body length in adult males is 130–190 cm; height at the withers, 95–100 cm. The males have large horns, up to 70 cm in length, bent to the rear and inward; the female’s horns are much shorter. The body color is reddish-yellow. On the lower part of the neck, chest, and front legs, the hair is longer and forms a thick mane, from whence they are called grivistyi baran in Russian (maned sheep).

Barbary sheep are found in northern Africa. They live in small flocks in hard-to-reach cliff areas of the mountains. Their main food is herbaceous plants. The mating period is at the beginning of winter, and the gestation period is 154–161 days. One or two lambs are born. Barbary sheep were sought for their meat and skin, so that they have been seriously depleted by man. Now their numbers are small and continue to decline. They are protected in most of their range. Barbary sheep thrive and multiply in zoos.

References in periodicals archive ?
Table I.-Sightings of the aoudad (Ammotragus lervia) recorded in Algeria north of Sahara in 2012-2015.
Indeed the presence of Ammotragus lervia at Tiaret is known by local people and recorded in rock engravings (Abdi, 2014).
Ammotragus lervia was officially protected in Algeria in 1975 by "decret 83 du 08 aout 1983 relatif a la protection des especes d'animaux sauvages non domestiques".
Ammotragus lervia has been legally protected from 1975, but poaching is ongoing.
Update of the distribution and status of the aoudad, Ammotragus lervia, (Bovidae, Caprini) in Tunisia.
Social organization of Barbary sheep (Ammotragus lervia) population in the Chambi National Park, Tunisia.
1985: Horn growth and aging of free-ranging Barbary sheep (Ammotragus lervia).--Mammalia 49: 85-91.
2002: The human dimension that favours the unnatural expansion of an exotic ungulate (Ammotragus lervia) throughout the Iberian Peninsula.--Pirineos 157: 181-189.