Arizona Game And Fish To Make Adjustments To Bighorn Sheep Reintroduction

February 25, 2014

(Photo courtesy of Arizona Game and Fish Department)
Desert bighorn sheep.

Arizona Game and Fish officials say they plan to make changes to the bighorn reintroduction program in the Santa Catalina Mountains, after finding a 13th sheep dead. The Department relocated 31 bighorns from the Yuma area to the mountains outside Tucson in November, but has now lost nearly half of them.

Game and Fish spokesman Mark Hart says they’re changing when they go after the mountain lions, which prey on the sheep.

“We’re trying to focus our resources on managing the sheep population and by extension the mountain lion population to those areas where the best sheep habitat is,” Hart said. “If a mountain lion should take a sheep outside of that area, we’re not going to pursue.”

Hart says Game and Fish has also discovered a third lamb, born to a ewe in one of the regions better suited for bighorns, where there are fewer trees to block their view of predators.