- Common Name
- Barbary sheep
- Genus Species
- Ammotragus lervia
- The Barbary sheep has a long, vertical fringe of hair extending from the throat region to the upper part of the front legs. It also has long back-curved horns.
Male: The horns of males are slightly longer than those of females.
- Approximately 0.91 to 1.1 m (3 to 3.5 ft) tall at the shoulder
- Approximately 45.5 kg (100 lbs.)
- Graze on a variety of grasses, shrubs, flowers, young plants, and leaves
- Mating takes place throughout the year, but mostly occurs from September through November. Gestation lasts approximately 154–161 days. A single offspring is typical, although twins are also common.
- Sexual Maturity
- About 18 months
- Life Span
- Have been known to live as much as 20 years
- Barbary sheep were originally native to the Barbary coast in Africa including Morocco, the Western Sahara, Egypt, and Sudan. Some populations have been introduced to North America.
- Native to rocky, dry, mountain areas
- Global: Unknown
- Sheep are grazers, chewing their cud. They have a four-chambered stomach that allows them to ruminate.
- Male sheep are called rams. Females are called ewes.
- Barbary sheep live in arid environments and acquire much of their water from the plants they eat. However, they will readily drink water if it is available.
Ecology and Conservation
Barbary sheep populations have declined drastically over much of their native range due to hunting for their skins, meat, and sinew.
In some areas where Barbary sheep have been introduced, there is concern that they may compete with the native bighorn sheep for food resources.
MacDonald, D. The Encyclopedia of Mammals: 2. London: George Allen & Unwin Co., 1985.
Nowak, R. M. Walker's Mammals of the World. 6th edition. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999.
The Mammals of Texas: http://www.nsrl.ttu.edu/tmot1/ammolerv.htm