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Aoudad (Barbary Sheep)

Ammotragus lervia

Class: Mammalia Order: Artiodactyla Family: Bovidae

Size

Weight: 88-300 lbs

Diet

These herbivores feed on grasses, bushes, and lichen. Much of the water they ingest comes from the plants they consume.

Lifespan

20 years

Habitat & Range

Dry mountainous areas

Aoudads are native to Northern Africa, but they have been introduced to other regions including the Untied States, Mexico, and Spain for hunting purposes.

Interesting Facts

  • Aoudads have large, thick horns that curve backwards and may grow to be nearly 2 feet in length. Both male and female aoudads have horns.
  • Aoudads live in rocky areas, so they need to be sure footed. There are very few places to hide in their habitat because of the lack of vegetation. Rather than try to hide when danger is near, they will freeze in an attempt to go unnoticed.
  • These sheep are very sure footed and are strong jumpers. They can easily clear obstacles as high as 6.5 feet. Newborn aoudads can easily move across rocky ground soon after birth.

Conservation Status

Vulnerable

Threats

Major threats to this species include poaching and habitat destruction. Domestic livestock also creates competition for food.