Dall Sheep
Overview
 
The Dall sheep Ovis dalli, is a species of sheep
Ovis
Ovis is a genus of mammals, part of the goat-antelope subfamily of the ruminant family Bovidae. Its five or more highly gregarious species are known as sheep...

 native to northwestern North America, ranging from white to slate brown in color and having curved yellowish brown horns. Its closest relative is the more southern Stone sheep (also spelled Stone's sheep) (Ovis stonei), which is a slaty brown with some white patches on the rump and inside the hind legs.

Research has shown the use of these subspecies designations is questionable.
Encyclopedia
The Dall sheep Ovis dalli, is a species of sheep
Ovis
Ovis is a genus of mammals, part of the goat-antelope subfamily of the ruminant family Bovidae. Its five or more highly gregarious species are known as sheep...

 native to northwestern North America, ranging from white to slate brown in color and having curved yellowish brown horns. Its closest relative is the more southern Stone sheep (also spelled Stone's sheep) (Ovis stonei), which is a slaty brown with some white patches on the rump and inside the hind legs.

Research has shown the use of these subspecies designations is questionable. Complete colour integradation occurs between white and dark morphs of the species with intermediately coloured populations, called Fannin's sheep (Ovis dalli fannini), found in the Pelly Mountains
Pelly Mountains
The Pelly Mountains are a mountain range in the Yukon, Canada. It has an area of 44014 km2 and is a subrange of the Yukon Ranges which in turn form part of the Pacific Coast Ranges.-References:...

 and Ogilvie Mountains of Yukon Territory. Mitochondrial DNA evidence has shown no molecular division along current subspecies boundaries, although evidence from nuclear DNA may provide some support. Also at the species level, current taxonomy is questionable because hybridization between Ovis dalli and Ovis canadensis has been recorded in recent evolutionary history.

The latter half of the Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 binomial
Binomial
In algebra, a binomial is a polynomial with two terms —the sum of two monomials—often bound by parenthesis or brackets when operated upon...

 dalli is derived from William Healey Dall (1845–1927), an American naturalist. The common name Dall sheep or Dall's sheep is often used to refer to the species Ovis dalli. An alternative use of common name terminology is that thinhorn sheep refers to the species Ovis dalli, while Dall's sheep and Stone's sheep refer to subspecies Ovis dalli dalli and Ovis dalli stonei, respectively.

The sheep inhabit the subarctic
Subarctic
The Subarctic is a region in the Northern Hemisphere immediately south of the true Arctic and covering much of Alaska, Canada, the north of Scandinavia, Siberia, and northern Mongolia...

 mountain ranges of Alaska
Alaska
Alaska is the largest state in the United States by area. It is situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent, with Canada to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, with Russia further west across the Bering Strait...

, the Yukon
Yukon
Yukon is the westernmost and smallest of Canada's three federal territories. It was named after the Yukon River. The word Yukon means "Great River" in Gwich’in....

 Territory, the Mackenzie Mountains
Mackenzie Mountains
The Mackenzie Mountains are a mountain range forming part of the Yukon-Northwest Territories boundary between the Liard and Peel rivers. The range is named in honour of Canada's second Prime Minister Alexander Mackenzie. Nahanni National Park Reserve is in the Mackenzie Mountains.The Mackenzie...

 in the western Northwest Territories
Northwest Territories
The Northwest Territories is a federal territory of Canada.Located in northern Canada, the territory borders Canada's two other territories, Yukon to the west and Nunavut to the east, and three provinces: British Columbia to the southwest, and Alberta and Saskatchewan to the south...

, and northern British Columbia
British Columbia
British Columbia is the westernmost of Canada's provinces and is known for its natural beauty, as reflected in its Latin motto, Splendor sine occasu . Its name was chosen by Queen Victoria in 1858...

. Dall sheep are found in relatively dry country and try to stay in a special combination of open alpine ridges, meadows
Montane grasslands and shrublands
Montane grasslands and shrublands is a biome defined by the World Wildlife Fund. The biome includes high altitude grasslands and shrublands around the world....

, and steep slopes with extremely rugged ground in the immediate vicinity, to allow escape from predators that cannot travel quickly through such terrain.

Male Dall sheep have thick curling horns. The females have shorter, more slender, slightly curved horns. Males live in bands which seldom associate with female groups except during the mating season in late November and early December. 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.

The primary predators of Dall sheep are wolves
Gray Wolf
The gray wolf , also known as the wolf, is the largest extant wild member of the Canidae family...

, coyote
Coyote
The coyote , also known as the American jackal or the prairie wolf, is a species of canine found throughout North and Central America, ranging from Panama in the south, north through Mexico, the United States and Canada...

s, black bear
American black bear
The American black bear is a medium-sized bear native to North America. It is the continent's smallest and most common bear species. Black bears are omnivores, with their diets varying greatly depending on season and location. They typically live in largely forested areas, but do leave forests in...

s, and grizzly bear
Grizzly Bear
The grizzly bear , also known as the silvertip bear, the grizzly, or the North American brown bear, is a subspecies of brown bear that generally lives in the uplands of western North America...

s; golden eagle
Golden Eagle
The Golden Eagle is one of the best known birds of prey in the Northern Hemisphere. Like all eagles, it belongs to the family Accipitridae. Once widespread across the Holarctic, it has disappeared from many of the more heavily populated areas...

s are predators of the young.

Dall sheep can often be observed along the Alaska Highway
Alaska Highway
The Alaska Highway was constructed during World War II for the purpose of connecting the contiguous U.S. to Alaska through Canada. It begins at the junction with several Canadian highways in Dawson Creek, British Columbia and runs to Delta Junction, Alaska, via Whitehorse, Yukon...

 at Muncho Lake and at Sheep Mountain in Kluane National Park and Reserve
Kluane National Park and Reserve
Kluane National Park and Reserve are two units of Canada's national park system, located in the extreme southwestern corner of Yukon Territory. Kluane National Park Reserve was established in 1972, covering 22,016 square kilometres....

, as well as near Faro, Yukon
Faro, Yukon
Faro is a small town in the central Yukon, Canada, formerly the home of the largest open pit lead–zinc mine in the world as well as a significant producer of silver and other natural resource ventures. The mine was built by the Ralph M. Parsons Construction Company of the USA with General...

(Fannin's sheep).

Further reading

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