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Translocations as a tool for restoring populations of bighorn sheep

Restoration Ecology

By:
, , and
https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1526-100x.2000.80061.x

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Abstract

We analyzed factors that contributed to the success of 100 translocations of bighorn sheep within six western states between 1923 and 1997. We categorized the populations as unsuccessful (i.e., extirpated or remnant, <29 animals), moderately successful (30–99 animals), and successful (100–350 animals) by the end of the study period in 1997. Thirty of the translocated populations were unsuccessful (n = 13 were extirpated and n = 17 were remnant), 29 were moderately successful, and 41 were successful (21 ± 1.3 [SE] years of information per translocation). Translocations were less successful when domestic sheep were located within 6 km of the known bighorn sheep use areas (logistic regression, p = 0.052). Grazing of cattle on the same range also negatively influenced success (p = 0.004). Use of indigenous versus previously translocated source stocks increased success (p = 0.084). The translocation was twice as likely to be successful when indigenous herds were used as sources (p = 0.043), but mixing genetic stocks (p = 0.381) or later additional augmentations did not influence success (p = 0.095). Annual migrations by newly established translocated populations increased success (p = 0.014). We recommend translocations of founder groups of bighorn sheep from indigenous sources into large patches of habitat that promote movements and migrations, and with no domestic sheep present in the area.

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Translocations as a tool for restoring populations of bighorn sheep
Series title:
Restoration Ecology
DOI:
10.1046/j.1526-100x.2000.80061.x
Volume:
8
Issue:
4S
Year Published:
2000
Language:
English
Publisher:
Wiley
Contributing office(s):
Fort Collins Science Center
Description:
8 p.
First page:
6
Last page:
13