2007 Schools Wikipedia Selection. Related subjects: Mammals

Conservation status

Vulnerable (VU)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Bovidae
Genus: Ovis
Species: O. vignei
Binomial name
Ovis vignei
Blyth, 1841

The Urial is a medium-sized wild sheep and as such is considered a member of the goat antelope subfamily. The Urial is also known as Shapo or Arkhar. Noticeable features are the reddish-brown long fur that will fade during the winter. Males are characterized by a black ruff stretching from the neck to the chest and significantly larger horns.

Urial males have large horns, curling outwards from the top of the head turning in to end somewhere behind the head, females have shorter, compressed horns. The horns of the males may grow to be up 1 metre. The average shoulder height of an adult male Urial lies somewhere between 80 and 90 centimeters.

The Urial is found in the mountain areas of Russia, Pakistan , India and central Asia. The habitat consists of grassy slopes below the timberline. Urials rarely move to the rocky areas of the mountains. The Urial feed mainly on grass but are able to eat leaves of trees and bushes if needed.

The mating season begins in September. During mating the rams (which live in their own herds when not mating) will select 4-5 ewes, who will give birth to one or two lambs after 5 months.

The conservation status of the Urial is threatened as their habitat is perfectly suitable for human development; the Urial population has been recovering the last few years though.

The scientific classification of the Urial is disputed , but the Urial can be said to fit into the taxonomic classifications of Ovis vignei, Ovis orientalis and/or Ovis ammon. Subspecies of O. vignei include:

  • Ovis vignei cycloceros (Afghan or Baluchistan Urial) (Blanford Urial(= blanfordi)
  • Ovis vignei punjabiensis (Punjab Urial)
  • Ovis vignei vignei (Ladakh or Shapu Urial)
Retrieved from " http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urial"