If your toes are snug within wool socks and you received yet another itchy sweater over the holidays, then you have mouflons to thank!
If your toes are snug within wool socks this winter and you received yet another itchy sweater from your great-aunt over the holidays, then you have mouflons to thank for that! So kick back, cast off that itchy sweater, and learn about them on this Wildlife Wednesday.
These grass munchers can be found grazing in arid grasslands and fields in the Middle East and parts of Asia. Depending on the subspecies, they can be found anywhere from India to Turkey.
Why are they threatened?
Poaching—especially in Armenia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and other countries along the northern edge of their range—is a major threat and has contributed to a decline in the animals’ population. Competition with domestic livestock at foraging grounds and watering holes is also a concern.
Other threats include the transmission of diseases from domestic animals to mouflons, habitat degradation caused by forestry and agriculture, and pressure from urbanization.
Fortunately, mouflons are protected by law in several of their home countries, and regulations either banning or limiting the hunting of these horned herbivores have gone into effect over the past few years in Afghanistan, India, Iran, Tajikistan, and others.