The Endangered Armenian Mouflon

The Endangered Armenian MouflonThe Armenian mouflon is a mouflon species indigenous to the Armenian Highlands, though it is also spread in the steppes of Iran. Armenian mouflons are commonly found in open mid- to high-altitude areas and in rocky mountains.

These wild species of sheep spend the summer in the highest areas they can reach that are typically located at an altitude of about 6 thousand meters and are perpetually covered in snow. In winter, they sometimes descend low enough to reach the green valleys.

Armenian mouflons live in both small and large herds. In summer, adult males live alone or in separate male groups. Armenian mouflons typically live for 18 years. Currently, this species of wild sheep is endangered.

In Armenia, mouflon hunt has been forbidden since 1936. These days, Armenian mouflons can only be found in the Khosrov Forest State Reserve and in the Ordubad reserve in Nakhichevan. Recently, the zoological institute of Armenia adopted the program of the mouflons’ breeding in protected areas.

It should be noted that in spite of the ban on hunting, Armenian mouflons have been illegally hunted over the last 25 years. There are rumors that among the inveterate hunters on Armenian mouflons are the members of the Armenian ruling elite.

Their names are known to the general public and even to the law enforcement agencies, but the situation remains unchanged. Not only Armenian mouflons but also forests and species of birds and snakes are endangered by these “habits.” We can only hope that those people someday receive the punishment they deserve.


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