A week before Jim's back surgery, we were treated to the Desert Museum's "Behind the Scenes" Tour and was able to get up close and personal with the Bighorn Sheep on display at the Desert Museum.
So, the other day, I ran into some pretty exciting news, or at least I thought so, and I thought I would share. This video, shot November 15 at Catalina State Park was posted by Arizona State Parks. Richard Boyer, Park Volunteer, will give another talk at 4pm December 30 at the Trailhead Picnic Area.
Bighorn sheep occurred naturally in the Santa Catalina Mountain ecosystem until the late 1990's. Their presence in the Catalinas has been well documented since the mid 1880’s. Catalina's bighorn sheep herd population peaked in the late 1970’s and early-mid 1980’s then declined and eventually disappeared in the late 1990’s. No final determination has been made for the decline and disappearance of the sheep.
The Desert Bighorn Sheep Society is working to change that. Restoration efforts will begin November of 2013 by relocating 30 sheep from herds in southwest Arizona. Each sheep will be fitted with a GPS satellite collar and monitored daily. The population objective over 3 years is 110 sheep.
The public has been supportive of bighorn sheep restoration and has placed significant value on the presence of bighorn sheep in the Catalinas as a natural component of this ecosystem.
If you are interested in contributing to this effort or for more information on this project visit the Arizona Desert Bighorn Sheep Society.