mountain sheep

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Related to mountain sheep: Ovis canadensis

mountain sheep:

see bighornbighorn
or Rocky Mountain sheep,
wild sheep, Ovis canadensis, of W North America, formerly plentiful in mountains from SW Canada to N Mexico. Indiscriminate hunting, disease, and scarcity of food enormously reduced its numbers by the mid-20th cent.
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Mountain Sheep


(Ovis), a genus of artiodactyl ruminants of the Cavicornia family. The animals are up to 140 cm long, measure 65–120 cm at the shoulder, and weigh 40–200 kg. The two species are the Marco Polo sheep (O. ammon) and the bighorn sheep (O. canadensis). Both species form a large number of geographic races. (Some researchers classify the mountain sheep inhabiting the USSR into four species.)

Mountain sheep inhabit open spaces (plateaus and gentle mountain slopes) and avoid plains devoid of shelter. As a result of human economic activity and intensive hunting, the distribution of mountain sheep is confined basically to alpine regions (up to elevations of 5,500 m). Mountain sheep feed on grassy vegetation and are gregarious, polygamous animals. The mating season lasts from the end of November through December. The gestation period is about five months, with no more than two young being born. The animals reach sexual maturity in their second year and may live 12–13 years. While running they can attain a speed of up to 60 km/h. In many areas the number of mountain sheep has declined sharply, and hunting has been partially prohibited. The meat and skin are used. Mouflons have become acclimatized in the hunting reserves of Western Europe. Mountain sheep were domesticated far back in antiquity and are the progenitors of many modern breeds of domesticated sheep.


Tsalkin, V. I. Gornye barany Evropy i Azii. Moscow, 1951.
Sokolov, 1. I. Kopytnye zveri. Moscow-Leningrad, 1959 (Fauna SSSR, vol. 1, issue 3).
Geptner, V. G., A. A. Nasimovich, and A. G. Bannikov. Parnokopy-tnye i neparnokopytnye. (Mlekopitaiushchie Sovetskogo Soiuza, vol. 1.) Moscow, 1961.
References in periodicals archive ?
Over the next few months the society hopes to compile a history of Welsh Mountain sheep.
Mining activity and habitat use by mountain sheep. European Journal of Wildlife Research, 55:183-191.
Right off the bat, our rules eliminate mountain sheep, Canada and Shiras moose, Canada caribou, muskoxen, mountain goats, big bears and California's Tule elk.
But angry farmers claim that traditional mountain sheep were used to keep the grass in remote areas under control.
Today, a few yak, gazelle, and mountain sheep make up the wildlife at that altitude, but there's far less diversity than at lower altitudes.
Persistence in mountain sheep. Conservation Biology, 7:219.
During that time he won numerous classes with his Swaledale, Scottish Blackface, South Country Cheviot and Mule sheep and his greatest achievement was when he was awarded the reserve mountain sheep championship, with a Cheviot lamb.
In Anglesey and Carnarvonshire, it is feared a great many of the mountain sheep will be lost.
They descended from the original Border Cheviot who were, back then, a very small, tan-faced breed which closely resembled the Olde Welsh Mountain Sheep, to which in fact they were related.
All four kinds of North America's mountain sheep are diurnal, usually exhibiting little nocturnal activity.
The only game animal in the region that they cannot overpower is the ibex, a large mountain sheep. But Kutuldu's eagle has killed several by pushing them off mountain ledges.
* Wildlife: Expansions of either trail systems or real estate development can fragment habitat vital to bears, mountain sheep and goats, elk, deer, mountain cats, moose, nesting songbirds, or other alpine or forest-dwelling wildlife.