Aoudad Barbary Sheep Disagreement 001146
Photograph - Photography
Two west Texas Aoudad ( Barbary Sheep ) ewes in a heated disagreement just on the other side of the fence. Aoudad are an invasive species that have thrived in west Texas, For many years ranchers would allow people to hunt them for free or cheap but now hunting them has become a big moneymaker.
The Davis Mountains host a wide variety of flora and fauna. Located near Fort Davis, Marfa, McDonald Observatory, and the Hobby Eberly Telescope there is much to see and do in the area.
"Barbary sheep (Ammotragus lervia) also called aoudad sheep are relatively large sheep native to the dry mountains of Northern Africa. Within the U.S. they occupy the same habitats as native big horn sheep and compete with them for resources. Both male and female Barbary sheep have large horns that are located near each other on the back of the head, extend posteriorly and curve in slightly. Female Barbary sheep have slightly smaller horns than males. As adults mature, the horns become a darker shade of yellow/brown. Adults have long tails, reaching to the hocks, with thick hair extending off the tip and lower half. Long hair that is lighter than the rest of the body grows from the chest down to the front of legs. Adult males weigh as much as 145 kg and adult females weigh 65 kg.
Barbary sheep are a threat to mule deer and bighorn sheep because of direct competition for food and habitat resources. Mule deer and Barbary sheep feed on similar vegetation and mule deer risk being outcompeted by the aggressive invasive Barbary sheep. Efforts to reintroduce big horn sheep populations are at risk because of habitat competition. Barbary sheep are known to be aggressive and territorial with the ability to climb and evade predators successfully. They also live in packs comprised of mature and immature members allowing a pack size advantage over the native bighorn sheep. Barbary sheep are a threat to wheat farmers with several observations of the invasive sheep feeding on winter wheat crops. They are not currently considered significant agriculture pests."
"Native to rugged areas of Northern Africa, the Aoudad, also known as Barbary sheep (Ammotragus lervia), is a tough and intelligent species of Caprid (goat-antelope). Aoudad are the only species in the genus Ammotragus. However, some include this genus in the goat genus Capra, and others in the sheep genus Ovis."
April 18th, 2021
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