Fun Blue Sheep Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
May 18, 2023 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
Fact-checked by Sapna Sinha
Blue Sheep facts are interesting to read.
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 5.9 Min

Most of us have little to no information about the creatures present in the farthest of terrains. The Tibetan plateau and the trans-Himalayas are home to several different species of creatures that are furthest away from human influence. The blue sheep (Pseudois nayaur) or Bharal is a member of the caprid group, and it is found in different habitats of high mountains. It is mainly a grazer and isn't involved in any domestic use. Blue sheep are found in several countries present in South Asia, including India, China, Pakistan, Nepal, and Bhutan. A blue sheep has both the characteristics of a sheep and a goat. The population is currently quite stable and categorized as Least Concern under the IUCN Red List.

Keep reading if you want to learn more about blue sheep. Also, check out our articles on bighorn sheep and sheep.

Blue Sheep Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a blue sheep?

The blue sheep is a type of caprid from the Bovidae family.

What class of animal does a blue sheep belong to?

The blue sheep belongs to the class Mammalia and the genus Pseudois.

How many blue sheep are there in the world?

The total population of blue sheep is around 47,000 to 414,000 individuals.

Where do a blue sheep live?

Blue sheep are mainly found in trans-Himalayan areas and the Tibetan plateau. They can be seen in countries like India, Bhutan, China, Pakistan, Myanmar, and Nepal. In China, blue sheep are found in the Xinjiang, Gansu, Ningxia, Sichuan, and Yunnan provinces. In India, blue sheep are mainly found in Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, and Arunachal Pradesh's Tawang region.

What is a blue sheep's habitat?

A blue sheep inhabits mountain deserts and rocky terrains. It lives in areas with an elevation of 3,937-19,685 ft (1,200-6,000 m). In the mountains, blue sheep can adapt to different temperature conditions. This species is generally seen near mountain cliffs rather than in forested areas.

Who do blue sheep live with?

Blue sheep can live in groups of five to 400 individuals. A Bharal group generally contains 10 to 40 individuals. However, some individuals may want to lead more solitary lives. Groups generally contain adult and subadult males or adult females with babies or young blue sheep. Except for the rutting season, females and males like to reside in separate groups. Some blue sheep have also lived with humans and were mainly reared by Buddhist monks.

How long does a blue sheep live?

The average lifespan of a blue sheep in the wild is around 15 to 17 years. However, it can at times be as low as four years because of the presence of predators like snow leopards. About 78% of blue sheep die within the age of four to 10 years.

How do they reproduce?

Female blue sheep have yearly estrus (heat) cycles. Generally, the cycle takes place between late November to January. However, the breeding time may slightly differ based on its habitat and geographic location. The gestation period lasts 150 to 160 days. The birth of a baby blue sheep coincides with the spring season and the availability of fresh pasture. It takes two to seven years for blue sheep to reach sexual maturity. A female blue sheep have one to two babies on average. Females are the ones that always take care of the young Bharal.

What is their conservation status?

The International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List or the IUCN Red List places blue sheep or bharal in the category of Least Concern. Blue sheep have not gone extinct.

Blue Sheep Fun Facts

What do blue sheep look like?

Males and females of blue sheep look quite similar except for the dorsal stripe. Males have a black dorsal stripe while it is gray in the females. Both males and females have horns. The horns of females are smaller, while the big horns of males curve at the back. Younger blue sheep have straighter horns. A blue sheep has a stocky body with shorter legs. The coat of a male blue sheep species is usually slate gray, and males have a blue tinge on their coats on the backside. The belly, rump, tail, and back of its legs have white fur contrasted with black or dark gray fur. The back and belly of blue sheep are separated with a charcoal stripe. Females have a light brown or pale gray coat.  Blue sheep lack a goatee and it sheds its underwool in the summer, while patches of it may remain. Additionally, this species grows a thick underwool during the winter months.

A blue sheep with curved horns.

How long is a blue sheep?

The average head-body length of a blue sheep is 45-65 in (115-165 cm), and it also has a tail measuring around 3.9-7.9 in (10-20 cm).

How do they communicate?

Blue sheep use tactile as well as chemical communication. Fights are frequent among males, especially during the rutting season. It is one of the only caprid species where females are seen biting each other.

How big is a blue sheep?

The average length of a blue sheep is 45-65 in (115-165 cm), and the average height is 27-36 in (69-91 cm). This species is similar in size to the Himalayan tahr that grows to a maximum height of 40 in (101 cm).

How fast can a blue sheep run?

Blue sheep are not fond of running. Its gray coat color helps it blend with the mountains hence, these animals like to stand and wait even when the predators are close to them. This phenomenon has made blue sheep a common prey for snow leopards.

How much does a blue sheep weigh?

The average weight of a blue sheep is around 77-165 lb (35-75 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

The male of a blue sheep is known as a 'ram' and a female is known as a 'ewe'.

What would you call a baby blue sheep?

A baby blue sheep is called a 'lamb' or a 'kid'.

What do they eat?

Blue sheep are herbivorous animals, and they mainly sustain themselves from the pasture found in the mountains. During summer, this species likes to eat alpine grass. During the winter months, blue sheep may eat astragalus, alpine willow, moss, or lichens. A blue sheep likes to eat during the daytime.

Are they smelly?

We can assume that this wild creature might be a little smelly because of its hairy coat.

Would they make a good pet?

Even though a blue sheep is known for being calm and quiet, it is not meant to be someone's pet. Buddhist monks have kept blue sheep as pets in the past, but it is best to let these sheep live in the wild.

Did you know...

Bharal hunting was common in the past. The blue sheep species is still threatened by hunting and poaching for its meat.

How did blue sheep get their name?

A blue sheep gets its name from the bluish-slate coat that is commonly seen on the creature. In India, blue sheep is known as a bharal, while in China, it is called ‘yanyang’. In Nepal, a blue sheep is known as the Naur. Blue sheep are placed in the genus Pseudois as they contain the characteristics of a goat as well as a sheep. It shares the genus with dwarf blue sheep which is currently an endangered species.

Why does a blue sheep have a blue coat?

Blue sheep don't have blue coats. A bharal has a slate-gray fur coat that has a blue sheen or luster to it. The blue sheen is mainly seen on the back of these animals.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including mountain goats or badgers.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Blue sheep coloring pages.

Blue sheep Facts

What Did They Prey On?

N/A

What Type of Animal were they?

Herbivore

Average Litter Size?

1-2

How Much Did They Weigh?

77-165 lb (35-75 kg)

What habitat Do they Live In?

mountains

Where Do They Live?

india, bhutan, china, pakistan, myanmar, and nepal

How Long Were They?

45-65 in (115-165 cm)

How Tall Were They?

27-36 in (69-91 cm)

Class

Mammalia

Genus

Pseudois

Family

Bovidae

Scientific Name

Pseudois nayaur

What Do They Look Like?

Slate gray

Skin Type

Fur

What Are Their Main Threats?

snow leopards, himalayan wolves, leopards, Humans

What is their Conservation Status?

Least Concern
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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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