Transcaspian Urial - Asia | Online Record Book Preview
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Transcaspian Urial - Species Detail
||Kopet Dagh urial
Ovis vignei arkal
Urial del Transcaspio, Urial de arkal (Sp), Transkaspischer Urialschaf (G), Transcaspien urial (F). Locally called arkal in the Ustyurt region of Soviet Asia. Called Kopet Dag urial in Iran; however that name is really too limited, as the Kopet Dag mountains represent only a portion of its range.
DESCRIPTION Shoulder height up to 39 inches (99 cm). Weight up to 200 pounds (91 kg). Females can weigh up to 100 pounds (45 kg).
A large, bright-colored, very handsome urial. Adult rams have a white bib and a long, white neck ruff; immature males have a smaller, dark neck ruff. Upper parts are uniformly tawny-brown. Rump patch, muzzle, belly and lower legs are white, and there is a darker stripe separating belly and upper body. No saddle patch, but some males have a dark shoulder spot in winter coat. The horns are rather long and homonymous, growing in a tight circle or forming an open spiral. The frontal horn surface is flat, with sharp angles and distinct ridges, triangular in cross section. Females have short, straight horns.
DISTRIBUTION Kazakhstan: The Ustyurt Plateau between the Caspian and Aral seas, and southward in the Kopet Dag range. Uzbekistan: Western. Turkmenistan: Southern. Iran: From the Kopet Dag range through Khorasan Province in the northeast. Afghanistan: In the extreme northwest, bordering Iran and Turkmenistan. Boundaries to the east with the Afghan urial are undetermined.
TAXONOMIC NOTES Consists of the named races arkal (Ustyurt Plateau), dolgopolovi (near Astrabad in northeastern Iran), and varentsowi (Kopet Dag range), with arkal Eversmann, 1850 having priority.
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