Ovis ammov nigrimontana

Karatau argali

Phylum Chordates (Chordata)
Class Mammals (Mammalia)
Order Even-hoofed mammals (Artiodactyla)
Family Hollow-horned ruminants (Bovidae)
Genus Sheep (Ovis)
Species Authority Severtzov, 1873
Summary Status: endangered (Category I), it is endemic to Kazakstan, its population size is declining. This sheep is distributed only in the Syr Darya Karatau mountains. In the southwestern Karatau, this sheep has hybridized with sheep that migrated from Talas Alatau, which are the Tian Shan subspecies. Consequently, pure sheep remain only in the northwestern part of the mountains. The total population of this species has gradually declined from approximately 150 individuals in 1976 to about 100 at present. The limiting factors are poaching, predation by wolves and cattle grazing in the core habitat areas. It is not kept in the zoos of Kazakstan. To protect this species, it is necessary to speed up the establishment of the reserve.

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