Soay Sheep: Dynamics and Selection in an Island Population

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Clutton-Brock, T., and J. Pemberton (eds.). Soay Sheep: Dynamics and Selection in an Island Population. Cambridge University Press. Dynamics and Selection in an Island Population Unlike most other large mammals, the Soay sheep population of Hirta in the St. Kilda archipelago show.

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Soay sheep: dynamics and selection in an island population.

Brand New: A new, unread, unused book in perfect condition with no missing or damaged pages. Individuals and populations T. Clutton-Brock and J. Pemberton; 2. The sheep of St Kilda T. Clutton-Brock, J. Pemberton, T. Coulson, I. Stevenson and A. MacColl; 3. Population dynamics in Soay sheep T. Clutton-Brock, T.

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Coulson, A. In a way the Soay came full circle as now the Island of Hirta is mostly just an Island of Soay sheep.

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Soay sheep are a window into the past and give us a road map to the Neolithic origins of domesticated sheep. It is believed by most researchers these sheep were established on Soay as a food source by Norse sailors many centuries ago. Background Information. Soay sheep in many ways are similar to the Mediterranean mouflon and the horned Urial sheep of Central Asia but their origins are uncertain. This suggests they may have been introduced before the 10th Century.

They are very swift and agile, and will flee to safety onto the high ground when startled.

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Their appearance is unique and very attractive. They tend to be either flax colored or dark brown with an off-white underbelly and rump. This was called 'lachdann' in the local Gaelic dialect. Some individuals are totally black or fawn-colored. A few sheep have white markings as well.

In the early twentieth century, some Soay sheep were relocated to the mainland in order to establish exotic flocks, such as the famous flock of "Park Soay" at Woburn Abbey. The duke of Bedford began raising them in , and selected breeding stock with the most "primitive" characteristics. Onehundred and twenty Soay sheep were relocated from Soay to the island of Hirta by the Marquess of Bute in the s, after the human population was permanently evacuated. The Hirta population is unmanaged and has been the subject of scientific study since the s.

The sheep population on Hirta makes an ideal model subject for scientists researching evolution, population dynamics and demography because the population is unmanaged, closed no emigration or immigration and has no significant competitors or predators. Unlike most other large mammals, the Soay sheep population of Hirta in the St.

Soay sheep, Lundy Island (1)

ISBN August Grazing on Hirta. Soay sheep have short tails and naturally shed their wool in the spring and summer. The ewes are polled, scurred or horned and rams are either horned or scurred. Occasionally random white markings on the face and or body and legs occur as well. Self-colored solid color with no markings black or tan individuals are seen in the mix on Hirta but are not as common in flocks that have been established on the mainland or in the US.

The ewes when they molt look rather like tiny Musk oxen.