All chapters:



Waters and water management

Ecosystems and ecoregions

Species diversity and use of biological resources

Nature conservation: econet and protected areas

Countries & cultures


Land use

International policy

Species diversity and use of biological resources
Snow sheep
Related maps, pictures, links

Small, isolated populations of snow sheep (Ovis nivicola potanini) inhabit the Stanovoy and Dzhugzhur ranges of the Trans-Baikal Bald Mountain Tundra.  The main habitat for snow sheep is in the alpine belt from 1,600 to 2,200 meters above sea level, mostly on sunny slopes with abundant cliffs.  In winter, snow sheep migrate down to the upper forest belt, made up primarily of dark coniferous species such as fir.  Expeditions to study snow sheep populations in the Stanovoy Range were led in 1991-1992 and in 2001.   The results show that snow sheep density is still high – up to 16.5 animals per km2 of suitable habitat.  The total number of this isolated population is estimated at 350-500 head.

For many years the only threat to snow sheep here was occasional hunting from nomadic Evenki, indigenous reindeer herders.  In 2001, however, construction of a new railroad began across the Stanovoy Range to connect a huge coal deposit at Tokko Lake in Yakutia with the Baikal-Amur Railway.  Thousands of construction workers and numerous cross-country vehicles and helicopters now pose a serious threat to the survival of these small populations of snow sheep.  When finished, the railroad will open the gate for many people to colonize and otherwise exploit this remote region.

Hunter with a sheep. Stanovoy Range. (Photo by S.Titova)

Map collections:

Species richness

Distribution of charismatic species

Major protected areas of Amur-Heilong



Also look:

Species richness in Amur-Heilong River Basin

Large mammals and their migrations

Big cats of Amur-Heilong River Basin

Mongolian gazelle


Exploitation of wild fauna and flora in Amur-Heilong River Basin

Hunting in Russian Far East

Mongolian hunting case study

The harvest of biological resources in China

Trade in flora and fauna in Russian Far East


Full contents
Full digest
Full atlas
All pictures