CDFW Creates First Bighorn Sheep Herd in 25 Years

bighorn sheepThe California Department of Fish and Wildlife and volunteers from around the state, have established a brand new herd of Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep.

During the last week in March ten 10 female and four male bighorn sheep were captured from two of the largest existing herds in the Sierra Nevada and released together at Olancha Peak near the southern end of the Sierra Nevada range in Inyo County.  The Convict Creek and Mount Gibbs herds were augmented by adding six females to those small herds.

From the press release:

“This is the first reintroduction effort of a new herd of Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep since 1988,” said Tom Stephenson, CDFW bighorn recovery program leader.

Historically, Sierra bighorn were abundant throughout the Sierra Nevada; however, by the 1970s, only two herds remained. Disease spread by domestic sheep and unregulated commercial hunting are believed to have caused their demise.

“Many endangered species remain on the brink of extinction with poor prospects for recovery after they receive federal protection,” said Stephenson. “Through our conservation efforts, we have a unique opportunity to reach recovery goals for an alpine specialist that is native only to California.”

You can read the full press release HERE.

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