Argali sheep standing on snow covered mountain

Argali sheep

Argalis are the world's largest sheep and their dramatic spiralling corkscrew horns mean they are also a big hunter’s prize. During winter, the usually segregated sexes descend from the heights of their summer grazing grounds up on the Tibetan Plateau, for example, and convene to begin the rut.

Scientific name: Ovis ammon

Rank: Species

Common names:

Mountain sheep

Watch video clips from past programmes (1 clip)

In order to see this content you need to have an up-to-date version of Flash installed and Javascript turned on.


Map showing the distribution of the Argali sheep taxa

Species range provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

The Argali sheep can be found in a number of locations including: Asia, China, Himalayas, Indian subcontinent, Russia. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Argali sheep distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status

Near Threatened

  1. EX - Extinct
  2. EW
  3. CR - Threatened
  4. EN - Threatened
  5. VU - Threatened
  6. NT
  7. LC - Least concern

Population trend: Decreasing

Year assessed: 2008

Classified by: IUCN 3.1

Elsewhere on the BBC