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Argali/Marco Polo

Scientific Name: Ovis ammon

Subspecies: Different authors describe between 6 and 12 subspecies. We have chosen to include 8 here: 1. Altai Argali (Ovis a. ammon (syn. mongolica): Altai (Kazakhstan), north and west Mongolia, southwest Tuwa, in the mountains Tanu-ola and Greater Sajan. 2. Pamir Argali (Ovis a. polii): Middle- and eastern Pamir, Kokschaal-Tau Mountains (Kirgise-Chinese border) and eastern Tien Shan. 3. Tienshan Argali (Ovis a. karelini): Tien Shan, southeastern Karatau Mountains, western Talas-Alatau and Karschantau Mountains, south and southeast from the Issuk-Kul Sea (Kazakhstan, Kirgistan, China). 4.Karatau Argali (Ovis a. nigrimontana): The Karatau Mountains between the rivers of Syr Darja and Tschu (southern Kazakhstan). 5. Karaganda Argali (Ovis a. collium): In Kazakhstan in the undulating regions in the mountains of Saur, Dschair, Tarbagatai, Semintau, Tschingistau, Jermentau, in the east to Irtysch, in the west to the Ulutau Mountains. 6. Dzungarian Argali (Ovis a. littledalei): Occur between the Karaganda and the Tienshan Argali: Dzungarian Alatau, north to the Balchasch Sea and the Karakum Desert, in the west to the Taukum Desert, the Kaptzagaisk dam and the Ili River. 7. Gobi Argali (Ovis a. darwini): The Gobi (south Mongolia), inner Mongolia (northern China). 8. Tibetan Argali (Ovis a. hodgsoni (syn. blythi, brookei, dalai-lamae, adametzi)): From Ladakh along the Himalayan chain to Bhutan, north to the Xizang plateau (Tibet) and the Lop Nor Sea, eat to the Nan Shan Mountains.

Distribution: Read above

Habitat: When we include all the different subspecies the habitat ranges from extreme arctic and alpine tundra over grassy mountain slopes and grassy, hilly areas to patches of forest between 100 and 4.000 meters.

Description: The Altai Argali is the largest wild sheep on earth, weighing over 200 kg and measuring up to 1.25 m over the shoulder. General colour sandy grey to grey brown, with white streaking, especially on the neck, shoulders and chest. Colour variety in the different subspecies. The horns of the Altai Argali may reach 182 cm with a circumference of 53 cm and a weight with base of around 16 kg! The longest horns are possessed by the Pamir Argali that may measure over 190 cm in length.

Hunting method: Stalking (stages of the hunt often on horseback).

Hunting available in: Mongolia, Kazakhstan and Kirgistan. Cites classification for Ovis ammon: B (III), for Ovis a. hodgsoni: A (I). Snow Sheep hunting has only really been made possible in the 90'ies in any numbers. It is therefore hoped that the next editions of the trophy-books will include best trophy for these animals. Hunting available in: Eastern Siberia (Russia).

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