~ Publication details ~

Tserenbataa, T., R. Reading, R. Ramey II, O. Ryder, T. Zhanchiv, and K. Tumennasan. 2003. New perspectives on the subspecies, population structure, and conservation of Mongolian argali sheep (Ovis ammon). Proceedings of the Institute of Biology of the Mongolian Academy of Sciences (Mammalogical Studies in Mongolia and Its Adjacent Territories) 24:141-158.


Abstract - The subspecific designation of argali sheep (Ovis ammon) in Mongolia has been contentious because morphological differences can be due to genetic or environmental factors. A detailed analysis of genetic structure and gene flow study in argali sheep populations was carried at using the ND5 gene (556bp) of mtDNA. Gene flow appears to have been frequent between populations of argali inhabiting the Khangai Mountains and Gobi Desert. The Alakhnur and Greak Lakes Depressions may present barriers to argali movements between the Altai Mountains and Gobi Desert, and between the Altai Mountains and Khangai Mountains populations. Our ND5 data did not support two Evolutionary Significant Units (Altai and Gobi/ Khangai lineages) but two Management Units (Altai and Gobi/Khangai) were recognized. The most divergent haplotype was found in the Marco Polo argali in (O. a. polii) the Republic of Kyrgyzstan. This haplotype clustered with urial sheep (Ovis orientalis) in the parsimony tree. These results support the hypothesis argali and urial sheep share a most recent common ancestor (Geist 1971).

Publisher - Mongolian Academy of Sciences

Reprints - Contact Mongolian Academy of Sciences Institute of Biology


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