International Journal of
Biodiversity and Conservation

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Biodivers. Conserv.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-243X
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJBC
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 625

Full Length Research Paper

Social organization of Barbary sheep (Ammotragus lervia) population in the Chambi National Park, Tunisia

Laboratory of Animal Ecology, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, El Manar University, Tunisia.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 30 August 2012
  •  Published: 31 January 2013


The Barbary sheep (Ammotragus lervia), "kabsh arwi" in Arabic, is a threatened wild endemic to North Africa. It was introduced in Chambi National Park of Tunisia in 1987. The study of the organization of Barbary sheep population was investigated 23 years after this introduction. The surveys were conducted during breeding and rutting seasons. The majority of herds sighted in Chambi National Park in Tunisia both during breeding and rutting seasons, were small. The average number of animals per herd, during breeding and rutting season, was 5.5. Males were more frequently encountered during autumn than in spring, in contrast with females and subadults which were equally estimated in both seasons. Four herd types were distinguished: bachelor, female, nursery and mixed. Nursery groups were the most common association during breeding but mixed groups are the most frequent ones in rutting season. Concerning habitat preference, arwis tended to prefer open lands during breeding season, but they did not show preference to any habitat in rutting season. The sex ratio was estimated of 55 males: 100 females in April 2009.


Key words: Aoudad, Barbary sheep (Ammotragus lervia), ungulates, herd size, group composition, habitat selection, Chambi, Tunisia.