Head and body length, 120-190 cm; shoulder height, 90-115 cm
Estimated at 10,000-50,000
Open, grassy areas of central Asia; argali prefer rock outcrops, foothills, plateaus, valleys, gentle slopes and rolling steppes
Tibet, China Altay, Xinjiang, China Central Asia
Crash, boom, bam! Epic head-butting battles to determine dominance among argali rams make mating season a noisy affair. Magnificent spiral horns-which both genders possess-become tools of prowess earning the victorious male the right to mate first with more mature females, Mothers give birth to one lamb in the late spring and care for it until just prior to birthing again the next year. Fathers show little interest in family matters outside mating season. Unfortunately, the horns that come in so handy then are also prized by poachers. With humans after their horns and livestock after their gazing lands, the argali is between a rock and a hard place.