On Friday, February 14, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department captured 10 bighorn sheep ewes in Encampment to sample them for disease and given GPS collars.

The sampling will aid biologists to learn more about the different diseases in the bighorn sheep.

The collars will collect GPS data and transmit it to the Game and Fish Department so that they are able to track variations in movement, habitat selection, and resource use. The data collected will help the department identify the habitat characteristics of the bighorn sheep under different environmental contexts and analyze them in comparison to other herds.

This is a continuation of a project which was started in 2018, after a decline in the bighorn sheep population. Five ewes were captured at that time and sampled for disease as part of a bighorn sheep herd health surveillance study throughout Wyoming. The ewes were also collared at this time, but the GPS collars ended up malfunctioning.

In 2019, 3 of the collars were replaced and three more ewes were captured and sampled. During this year, three of the sheep died, with two most likely from mountain lion attacks, and the third dying from a sinus tumor.

For more information regarding this project, please follow the link to the full article here.

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