In the arid plains of Northern Niger, called Irhazer, west of the Air Mountains the Touareg people raise and milk a robust local sheep breed they call "Ebirgual" and which is part of the Ara-Ara sheep breed family. The milk is drunk fresh but mainly used to produce a delicious cheese, conserved for consumption in the dry season. This hardy drought resistant breed is threatened by crossbreeding with other bigger framed white coloured sheep breeds. Big white sheep fetch a better price on the market in particular at Tabaski. Efforts are needed to conserve the local breed.