Institut für Biologie der Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg


Date of this Version


Document Type



Erforschung biologischer Ressourcen der Mongolei (2005) 9: 77-89.

Proceedings of the symposium ”Ecosystem Research in the Arid Environments of Central Asia: Results, Challenges, and Perspectives,” Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, June 23-24, 2004.


Copyright 2005, Martin-Luther-Universität. Used by permission.


Argali sheep (Ovis ammon) are listed as threatened in both Mongolia and internationally. Yet, little is known about the biology and ecology of this species. Available data suggests that Argali in Mongolia are declining due to direct poaching and competition with domestic livestock. We initiated several research projects to better understand and conserve the species. In this report we discuss Argali ecology using radio telemetry.

We captured and radio-collared 36 Argali using drive-nets, lamb captures, and dating from 2000–2004. Fifteen collared animals have died: 2 due to capture techniques, 8 from predation, 1 from starvation and exposure, 1 from disease, 1 due to maternal neglect, and 2 of unknown causes. In addition, 1 collar ceased working and 4 others dropped off prematurely. We have collected more than 1,040 locations through mid-May 2004. The majority of the Argali were captured in the northern portion of Ikh Nart. Animals have primarily restricted their movements to that area and have not exhibited seasonal movement patterns. Mean home range size for 17 animals with sufficient data (> 45 days with locations) was 57±3.7 km2 (range = 30– 80 km2) using the 100% minimum convex polygon method, with areas of predicted occurrence of 76±5.3km2 for 95% kernel, 32±3.7 km2 for 75% kernel, 11±1.6 km2 for 50% kernel, and 3.8±0.5 km2 for 25% home ranges. Predation was the main cause (72.7%) of mortality in the collared animals for which cause of death could be determined (non-study related).