Transcaspian Urial Sheep
(Silvertine's Signature Species "Transcaspian Urial Sheep")
WHAT IS AN TRANSCASPIAN URIAL TECHNICALLY?
The Transcaspian Urial Ram in my eyes is the most beautiful of all the wild sheep in the world. With its white neck ruff and sandy coloured body, and especially those horns which can grow to 40”+ in length. Our Transcaspian's are very limited, and from time to time over the next few years we will be offering them to hunters. Presently our Pure Transcaspians are used for breeding stock.
They are very limited and expensive sheep to hunt in their native home country. They are the most desirable and expensive of the Urials. Sought after by serious sheep hunters for centuries, this sheep has comparable status to the mighty Marco-Polo Argali as a must have by the serious sheep hunters/collectors. This native wild species of Urial sheep is limited to the Ustjurt-Plateau (Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and northern Iran) and western Kazakhstan. There horn curl deep and often times reaching 40" in one curl. The horns are Blond in color, and they carry a solid white Neck Mane from their chin to between their front legs.
Like I said in the URIAL OVERVIEW there are no Pure Transcaspians in North America, so the body color can vary a bit, and it is still called a Transcaspian Urial. A pure Transcaspian Urial is a bright-colored, very attractive Urial. Adult rams have the long white bib, Neck mane or ruff as some call it. Immature males have a smaller, dark neck ruff and the upper parts are uniformly tawny-brown, not until 2 years of age will they mature and develop the white neck mane. In the summer, the neck ruff are less or even nonexistent. They have a rump patch, white muzzle, white belly and lower legs with a dark stripe separating the belly and upper body. There is no saddle patch in Pure animals, but some males will have a dark shoulder spot in winter coat, just behind the front leg at the armpit. The horns are 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. One just needs to look at photos of what actually is being killed in Iran in the reserves and hunting areas where they have Pure Transcaspian Urials to see.
The status of the urial is threatened as their habitat is perfectly suitable for farming and grazing domestic livestock; however the urial population has been recovering in recent years.