Taxidermy mount of an adult female Aoudad or Barbary Sheep (Ammotragus lervia), collected West of Djebel Moddiane, Algeria.

Taxidermy mount of an adult female Aoudad or Barbary Sheep (Ammotragus lervia), shot by Percy Powell-Cotton on 10 February 1920 west of Djebel Moddiane, a mountain in northern Algeria. The animal was pregnant with two young at the time she was killed, but neither of the foetuses were collected. The skeleton and skull of the adult female are also in the Powell-Cotton Museum collection.

The Aoudad is a wild sheep with a wide range across northern Africa, from Morocco and Mauretania in the west of the continent to Egypt and Sudan in the east. However, they are now considered vulnerable to extinction. The total wild population is only around 5,000 – 10,000 adult animals. They are put at risk by overhunting and other human activities that affect their habitat such as overgrazing of the land by livestock.

They live in dry, mountainous areas and feed on grasses, bushes, and flowering plants. They are able to get all the water they need from their food, but will drink when they have access to water. Aoudad have a very nomadic lifestyle, moving regularly to find enough food.

Aoudad have been introduced to areas in the USA and Europe, where they can become a problem. On the Iberian Peninsula in Spain, and La Palma in the Canary Islands, they are considered a threat to native animals and plants.