Called sha (or shapo for male, shamo for female) in Ladakh, or urin in Astor. Named for G. T. Vigne, who recorded the animal's existence in 1840.
DESCRIPTION Shoulder height 34-38 inches (86-97 cm). Weight 150 pounds (68 kg) or more.
One of the largest urials, with the most fully developed neck ruff. Overall color is reddish-tan. Rump patch, muzzle, belly and lower legs are white. A dark band separates the belly from the upper body. Males have a white bib, a black neck ruff and a grayish saddle patch in the winter coat. (However, in 1977, Schaller observed two rams with a two-colored saddle-a dark line in front of the lighter patch.) The horn conformation varies, usually tending to curve above and behind the neck (supracervical), but some animals have homonymous horns or cervical ones. The horns rise steeply from the head and are strongly corrugated. They sometimes attain a full circle, but seldom exceed that. The horns curl on a flat plane, seldom spiralling or flaring at the tips. The record horns measured 39-1/2 inches (100.3 cm) long with 12-inch (30-5 cm) bases (Rowland Ward, 1921).
HABITAT The deep valleys of the upper Indus River system, where in places it overlaps with the Tibetan argali (O. ammon hodgsoni). The two species have been observed feed-ing in the same nullah; however, they have been separated by elevation, the Ladakh urial being a low-ground sheep whereas the argali is a high-ground animal.
DISTRIBUTION Discontinuously from the Chitral region of northern Pakistan eastward to the Ladakh region of northern India.
STATUS Listed as endangered by the USF&WS (1976) and on Appendix I of CITES (1975).