Yosemite Conservancy has been working with the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep for more than 20 years. We supported their initial re-introduction and have been closely involved ever since.
Herds Getting Bigger
The bighorn population has increased to more than 400 individuals since they received federally endangered status in 1999, but they continue to face many challenges. For example, the Yosemite Recovery Unit, that includes eastern portions of Yosemite National Park, continues to tackle problems associated with the spread of disease from domestic sheep in neighboring allotments.
Yosemite Conservancy is helping protect bighorn sheep by funding GPS collars that track sheep movements. By closely following sheep travels and also where they are lambing, officers are quickly able to intervene to protect them from potential threats, such as when they wander too close to domestic herds and could be exposed to deadly diseases. Close tracking also enables scientists to easily collect samples in areas where the sheep have spent time; these samples are used to run nutritional and genetic tests.