Aoudad

Aoudad

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  • Information
  • Conservation
  • Lifestyle

Description

Also known as the Barbary sheep, the aoudad closely resembles the North American bighorn sheep. It is stocky with a short red to tan bristly coat. Both sexes have a heavy fringe of hair on their throat that in males extends down the neck to cover the chest and front legs. Both males and females have outward curved horns. Male horns, which can be twice as large as female horns, can measure up to 33 in (83 cm). The males use their horns in competition for females.

Classification

Class
Mammalia
Order
Cetartiodactyla
Family
Bovidae
Genus
Ammotragus
Species
A. lervia
Conservation Status
Vulnerable

Key Facts

Height (at shoulder)
2.5-3.7 ft (~75-110 cm)
Weight
66-319 lb (~30-145 kg)

The IUCN Red List describes Ammotragus lervia as a Vulnerable species. The population in Africa is estimated between 5-10,000 individuals and is declining due to poaching and competition with domestic livestock.

Social Life
Aoudad males are generally solitary or found in small groups of females and young. Males are either solitary or form bachelor herds. Babies are standing and able to climb hills almost immediately after being born.

Habitat and Range
Aoudad live in arid, northern African mountains, specifically in the Atlas Mountains. Like most desert dwellers, they are most active in the cooler hours of dawn and dusk. They are excellent climbers and can clear a 6.6 ft (2 m) obstacle with ease from a standing start. Aoudad are also well adapted to a dry climate and are able to survive long periods of time without fresh water. They can obtain all needed moisture from their food, but if water is available they will drink and wallow.

Diet
Aoudad have a diverse diet, feeding on a variety of vegetation such as grass, forbs, shrubs and fruit. Their diet tends to change with the seasons. In the winter they eat predominantly grass, while shrubs are the more common food the rest of the year.

Lifespan
Life expectancy in the wild is around 10 years yet can exceed 20 in captivity.

Predators
Main predators include leopard and caracal.

Reproduction
Sexual maturity: Male: 19 months, Female: 1 year
Mating Season:   September to November
Birth Season:       March to May
Gestation:            160 days
No. of Young:      1, rarely up to 3

Information

Description

Also known as the Barbary sheep, the aoudad closely resembles the North American bighorn sheep. It is stocky with a short red to tan bristly coat. Both sexes have a heavy fringe of hair on their throat that in males extends down the neck to cover the chest and front legs. Both males and females have outward curved horns. Male horns, which can be twice as large as female horns, can measure up to 33 in (83 cm). The males use their horns in competition for females.

Classification

Class
Mammalia
Order
Cetartiodactyla
Family
Bovidae
Genus
Ammotragus
Species
A. lervia
Conservation Status
Vulnerable

Key Facts

Height (at shoulder)
2.5-3.7 ft (~75-110 cm)
Weight
66-319 lb (~30-145 kg)
Conservation

The IUCN Red List describes Ammotragus lervia as a Vulnerable species. The population in Africa is estimated between 5-10,000 individuals and is declining due to poaching and competition with domestic livestock.

Lifestyle

Social Life
Aoudad males are generally solitary or found in small groups of females and young. Males are either solitary or form bachelor herds. Babies are standing and able to climb hills almost immediately after being born.

Habitat and Range
Aoudad live in arid, northern African mountains, specifically in the Atlas Mountains. Like most desert dwellers, they are most active in the cooler hours of dawn and dusk. They are excellent climbers and can clear a 6.6 ft (2 m) obstacle with ease from a standing start. Aoudad are also well adapted to a dry climate and are able to survive long periods of time without fresh water. They can obtain all needed moisture from their food, but if water is available they will drink and wallow.

Diet
Aoudad have a diverse diet, feeding on a variety of vegetation such as grass, forbs, shrubs and fruit. Their diet tends to change with the seasons. In the winter they eat predominantly grass, while shrubs are the more common food the rest of the year.

Lifespan
Life expectancy in the wild is around 10 years yet can exceed 20 in captivity.

Predators
Main predators include leopard and caracal.

Reproduction
Sexual maturity: Male: 19 months, Female: 1 year
Mating Season:   September to November
Birth Season:       March to May
Gestation:            160 days
No. of Young:      1, rarely up to 3

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Aoudad