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Bharal
Bharals in Beijing zoo
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Bovidae
Subfamily: Caprinae
Genus: Pseudois
Species: P. nayaur
Binomial name
Pseudois nayaur
Hodgson, 1833

The bharal or Himalayan blue sheep, Pseudois nayaur, is a caprid found in the high Himalayas of Nepal, Tibet, China, Kashmir, Pakistan, Bhutan and the Republic of India.

The bharal has horns that grow upwards, curve out and then towards the back, somewhat like an upside down mustache.

The bharal was also the focus of George Schaller's and Peter Matthiessen's expedition to Nepal in 1973. Their personal experiences are well documented by Matthiessen in his book, The Snow Leopard. The bharal is a major food of the snow leopard.

The Dwarf Blue Sheep (P. schaeferi) is sometimes considered to be a subspecies of the bharal.

Species and Subspecies

  • Chinese Blue Sheep, Pseudois nayaur szechuanensis
  • Himalayan Blue Sheep, Pseudois nayaur nayaur
  • Helen Shan Slue Sheep, Pseudois nayaur ssp
  • Dwarf Blue Sheep, Pseudois schaeferi

Competition with Donkeys

High diet overlap between livestock (especially donkeys) and bharal, together with density-dependent forage limitation, results in resource competition and a decline in bharal density.[1]

References

  • Harris, R.B. (2008). Pseudois nayaur. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 5 April 2009. Database entry includes a lengthy justification of why this species is of least concern
  • Namgail, T., Fox, J.L. & Bhatnagar, Y.V. (2004). Habitat segregation between sympatric Tibetan argali Ovis ammon hodgsoni and blue sheep Pseudois nayaur in the Indian Trans-Himalaya. Journal of Zoology (London), 262: 57-63
  • Namgail, T. (2006). Winter Habitat Partitioning between Asiatic Ibex and Blue Sheep in Ladakh, Northern India. Journal of Mountain Ecology, 8: 7-13.
  • Bharal at Animal Diversity Web
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

BHARAL, the Tatar name for the "blue sheep" Ovis (Pseudois) nahura, of Ladak and Tibet. The general colour is bluegrey with black "points" and white markings and belly; and the horns of the rams are olive-brown and nearly smooth, with a characteristic backward curvature. In the absence of faceglands, as well as in certain other features, the bharal serves to connect more typical sheep with goats.


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Simple English

The bharal or Himalayan blue sheep (Pseudois nayaur) is a mammal of the Caprinae subfamily.

The bharal is found in the high Himalayas of Nepal, Tibet, China, Kashmir, Pakistan, Bhutan and the Republic of India.

The bharal has horns that grow upwards, curve out and then towards the back, somewhat like an upside down mustache.

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