Dall SheepPhotos, Pictures, Prints
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The thin horn sheep (Ovis dalli) is a species of sheep native to northwestern North America. In terms of color, this sheeps ranges from white to slate brown. It boasts curved, yellowish-brown horns.
Wide ranging, these sheep inhabit the subarctic mountain ranges of Alaska, the Yukon Territory, the Mackenzie Mountains in the western Northwest Territories, and central and northern British Columbia. Dall sheep prefer relatively dry country. Hence, they try to stay in a combination of open alpine ridges, meadows, and steep slopes. The latter they prefer because rugged, steep slopes allow them a path of escape from predators. That’s because most predators cannot scale mountains as quickly.
Male sheep have thick, curling horns. The females have shorter, more slender, slightly curved horns. That said, males live in bands which seldom associate with female groups except during the mating season. This occurs in late November and early December. Meanwhile, lambs are born in May.
During the summer when food is abundant, the sheep eat a wide variety of plants. The winter diet is much more limited, and consists primarily of dry, frozen grass and sedge stems available when snow is blown off, lichen, and moss. Many Dall sheep populations visit mineral licks during the spring, and often travel many miles to eat the soil around the licks.
Wolf packs, coyotes, black bears, and grizzly bears all prey on these sheep. However, the Dall sheep has been known to butt timber wolves off the face of cliffs.
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