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Ovis vignei bochariensis.jpg
Bukhara Urial (Ovis vignei bochariensis) at Nordens Ark, Sweden
CITES Appendix I (CITES) [1]
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Bovidae
Subfamily: Caprinae
Tribe: Caprini
Genus: Ovis
O. vignei
Binomial name
Ovis vignei
(Blyth, 1841) [2]

Ovis orientalis vignei

The urial ( /ˈʊəriəl/ OOR-ee-əl; Ovis vignei), also known as the arkars or shapo, is a wild sheep native to Central and South Asia. It is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. [1]



Transcaspian arkals (O. v. arkal) at Pretoria Zoo Ovis ammon vignei arkal Pretoria 3bis.jpg
Transcaspian arkals (O. v. arkal) at Pretoria Zoo

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 are up to 100 cm (39 in) long. The shoulder height of an adult male urial is between 80 and 90 cm (31 and 35 in).[ citation needed ]

Distribution and habitat

The urial is native to montane areas in the Pamir Mountains, Hindu Kush and Himalayas up to an elevation of 4,500 m (14,800 ft); it is distributed from northeastern Iran, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and southwestern Kazakhstan to northern Pakistan and Ladakh in northwestern India. It prefers grassland, open woodland and gentle slopes, but also inhabits cold arid zones with little vegetation. [1]

Behaviour and ecology

The mating season begins in September. Rams select four or five ewes, which give birth to a lamb after a gestation of five months.[ citation needed ]


The vignei subspecies group consists of six individual subspecies:


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  1. 1 2 3 4 Michel, S & Ghoddousi, A. (2021) [errata version of 2020 assessment]. "Ovis vignei". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species . 2020: e.T54940655A195296049. doi: 10.2305/IUCN.UK.2020-2.RLTS.T54940655A195296049.en . Retrieved 16 January 2022.
  2. 1 2 Blyth, E. (1841). "An Amended List of the Species of the Genus Ovis". The Annals and Magazine of Natural History; Zoology, Botany, and Geology. 7 (44): 248–261.
  3. Beolens, Bo; Watkins, Michael; Grayson, Michael (November 18, 2009). The Eponym Dictionary of Mammals. JHU Press. ISBN   9780801895333 via Google Books.
  4. "Green Pioneers - Chapter 13". Archived from the original on 2008-07-03. Retrieved 2009-03-15.