Species / International Ovis

Helan Shan Blue Sheep

Pseudois nayaur ssp


Helan Shan Mountains on the border of Inner Mongolia and Ningxia.


Compared with the Himalayan blue sheep, the body size is smaller and the color is lighter, being a buffy-brown. Facial mask is a lighter brown, sides of face are whitish and sides of neck are light buff. There is considerable black on front of neck and chest as compared to the Chinese blue sheep, and the black lateral band stops several inches behind the shoulder instead of almost joining the dark chest patch. The horn length and circumference are smaller than the Chinese blue sheep. Horns grow outward horizontally, with a downward curve, and most recorded are heavily broomed.


During an expedition in spring 1996, more than 800 blue sheep were observed in herds of up to 30 individuals. China closed hunting in 2006 and there are only eight blue sheep recorded in the SCI Record Book coming from the Helan Shan Mountains, most of which were taken between 2004 and 2006.

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