Desert Bighorn Sheep Reintroduced to Big Bend

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Desert bighorn's once roamed western Texas but the last of them were gone in the 1960's. However with help of conservation efforts, this year marks the first year that bighorn's will walk west Texas again. The Statesman.com has a write up and pictures of a new effort to introduce 29 desert bighorn's to the Lone Star state.

Bighorn sheep, with their thick, gnarled gray horns, once roamed the rugged mountains of northern Mexico and far West Texas. Unregulated hunting and disease carried by domestic and exotic livestock obliterated their numbers. By 1960 they were gone. In recent years, though, they've made a comeback. And this week, 46 bighorns were relocated over two days from Elephant Mountain Wildlife Management Area south of Alpine to the Bofecillos Mountains along the Rio Grande at Big Bend Ranch State Park.

Comments

Ca_Vermonster's picture

I agree Jim, it's great to

I agree Jim, it's great to see stories like this.

And, as you stressed, it's great to see them reintroduced to areas that they are NATIVE to.  Hopefully they will catch hold and reclaim their range with a strong, healthy herd.

jim boyd's picture

I love articles like

I love articles like this....

Reintroducing wildlife to where it was NATIVE is not only a great management tool - but it is the right thing to do, regardless of cost, because we (humans) were likely the result of the animals no longer being it that location, anyway.

Reading the article, the costs were not that great anyway...

Hopefully, these sheep can be protected and in a decade or so, have flourished to the point that they can be hunted on a tightly regulated basis.

The resultant revenue stream may well offset the relocation costs, at least in the long term. 

I have read other article where animals were not native but were introduced anyway (elk are a great example) and I commend these efforts - but I am all the more happy when they are put back to where they were originally.

I am sure these sheep were freaking out... captured with nets from a helicopter - they had to wonder what the HECK was going on.

I can also see the impatient rams as they wait for a flat tire to be fixed - thinking "OK, let's get these indignations over with, I am ready to roam again!".

I am proud of the folks that put this together... this is a great "feel good" article and I enjoyed the read very much.

Jim