Laristan Sheep
Laristan Sheep

Scientific Name: Ovis orientalis laristanica
Order : Artiodactyla
Family : Bovidae

General Information

They are the smallest wild sheep in the world. Horns are similar to the urial’s, curving down by the side of its head with the tips pointing forward and with relatively sharp-angled frontal surfaces. This mouflon has a whitish saddle patch, no bib and a short black ruff on its neck and chest. The ewes generally have short horns.
They are usually seen in herds consisting of ewes, lambs and non-adult males. Mating season is during fall and females prefer to mate with males with tallest and biggest horns. In breeding season, the male and female groups usually combine together. The gestation period’s 165 days and usually 1 to 2 lambs are born and males leave ewes and lambs after mating.


This species is herbivorous, feeding on grasses and shrubs, and also grains and tree leaves.


Laristan wild sheep inhabit the Desert Mountains and hills of the Laristan and Fars provinces of south/southeastern Iran.Their normal habitats are steep mountainous woods near tree lines. In winter, they migrate to lower altitudes.

Distribution in Iran

The province of Fars and neighboring regions . Hormod protected area in Fars is the most important place for Laristan sheep in Iran. its range is restricted to some desert reserves near Lar in southern Iran.

Distribution in the world

Today mouflon inhabit the Caucasus, northern Iraq, and northwestern Iran. Laristan Sheeps are found in fairly dry upland and mountainous areas.


Threats: Overall, this specie is threatened mainly by poaching and competition with livestock along with habitat deterioration and  hybridization. Main predators are leopard and jackal.

Conservation Status: This species probably is listed as Vulnerable because it is believed to be declining by at least 30% over three generations (set at 24 years).