Bighorn Sheep Culled For Protection

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Bighorn sheep in Montana have been suffering from pneumonia since 2009. The pneumonia outbreak is responsible for around 500 bighorn deaths in western Montana. This past spring wildlife managers surveyed the results from culling the sick bighorns from the herds. By culling the sick bighorns the lambs had a better chance of survival, as well as protecting other bighorns from getting infected. Mike Thompson of Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks tells the Missoulian that in two herds where sick sheep were killed and removed the survival rate for lambs is about 30 percent. In herds where culling was not possible due to the terrain, the lambs were worse off. Thompson also believes that by culling they have been able to keep 3 other herds pneumonia free. From


hunter25's picture

I'm not sure how large the

I'm not sure how large the sheep herds are in Montana but to have lost over 500 of them in the last few years is a huge number. The article is kind of vague with the information given as even though it states they have 30 percent survival after culling it does not give the exact number in the areas theyt did not. Just a different number that does not directly compare. And they are really only hoping they stopped the spread as it's possible these other herds did not interact anyway. Not trying to downplay what they are doing as this is a very serious situation but in a way it sounds like they are grasping at straws in trying to get it under control. Hopefully it really is working and these herds will have a chance to start rebuiling before it's to late.