Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Bovidae
Genus: Ovis
Species: O. orientalis
Subspecies: O. o. vignei
Trinomial name
Ovis orientalis vignei

The Urial (Ovis orientalis vignei group[2]), also known as the Arkars or Shapo, is a subspecies group of the wild sheep Ovis orientalis. Noticeable features are the reddish-brown long fur that fades during winter; males are characterized by a black ruff stretching from the neck to the chest and large horns. It is found in western central Asia. The other subspecies group of O. orientalis is the Mouflon (Ovis orientalis orientalis group). The two groups have often been considered separate species.[3]


Physical characteristics

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 may be 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).


The Urial is found in western central Asia from northeastern Iran and western Kazakhstan to Pakistan's Balochistan and Indian Ladakh. To the east it is replaced by the bigger Argali and to the southwest by the Asiatic Mouflon. Its habitat consists of grassy slopes below the timberline. Urials rarely move to the rocky areas of the mountains. For example in northern Iran they produce hybrids with Asiatic mouflon under natural conditions. Urials feed mainly on grass but are able to eat leaves of trees and bushes if needed.

The conservation status of the Urial is threatened as their habitat is perfectly suitable for human development; however the Urial population has been recovering in recent years.

The Afgha Urial found in Musakhel district in Surghar and Torghar. in 2005-2006 survey by WWF Pakistan shows 145 Urials found in Surghar, Srakhowa District Musakhe. Yahay Musakhel et. al 2006)


The mating season begins in September. Rams (which live separately at other times) select four or five ewes, who will give each birth to a lamb after a gestation of five months.


A male Punjab Urial at Lahore Zoo

The vignei subspecies group consists of six individual subspecies:


  1. ^ Valdez, R. (2008). Ovis orientalis. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 5 April 2009. Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is of vulnerable.
  2. ^ ICZN (International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature) opinion 2027
  3. ^ Grubb, Peter (2005). Order Perissodactyla. Pp. 708-710 in: Wilson, Don E., and DeeAnn, M. (2005). Mammal Species of the World. A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. 3d edition. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore. ISBN 0-8018-8221-4
  4. ^ http://www.un.org.pk/undp/sgp/green-pioneers/chap-13.htm
  • Nowak R. M.: Walker's Mammals of the World, Sixth Edition. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, London, 1999.
  • Lingen, H.: Großes Lexikon der Tiere. Lingen Verlag, Köln.
  • Prater, S. H.: The Book of Indian Animals, Oxford University Press, 1971.
  • Menon, V.: A Field Guide to Indian Mammals, Dorling Kindersley, India, 2003
  • CITES Instruktion für den grenztierärztlichen Dienst
  • Proposal about subspecies of Urial
  • Yahya M. Musakhel et.al 2006: Identification of Biodiversity Hot Spots in Musakhel District balochistan Pakistan.

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Urial — (Ovis orientalis vignei Gruppe) Arkale (Ovis orientalis arkal) Systematik Unterordnung: Wiederkäuer (Ruminantia) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • urial — /oor ee euhl/, n. a wild, bearded sheep, Ovis vignei, of southern Asia, having a reddish coat. [1885 90; < Punjabi hureal] * * * ▪ mammal       medium size, rather stout bodied wild sheep, distributed from northwest India and Ladakh to southwest… …   Universalium

  • Urial — Urial …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Urial, S. — S. Urial, Patron einer Kirche in der Diöcese St. Malo, findet sich bei Migne …   Vollständiges Heiligen-Lexikon

  • urial — noun Etymology: Punjabi huṛeāl Date: 1860 an upland wild sheep (Ovis vignei) of southern and central Asia which is reddish brown and the males of which have a beard from the neck to the chest …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • urial — noun A bearded reddish sheep, Ovis vignei, from southern Asia …   Wiktionary

  • urial — curial seigneurial …   Dictionnaire des rimes

  • úrial — ú|ri|al Mot Esdrúixol Nom masculí …   Diccionari Català-Català

  • urial — wild central Asian sheep with reddish coat and long curved horns Unusual Animals …   Phrontistery dictionary

  • urial — uri·al …   English syllables

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