Sheep Separation Program
Photo credit: Lyle Beaudoin
Help keep bighorn sheep separate from domestic sheep and goats.
Wild sheep share a number of similarities with their domestic cousins: they will use the same forage and water sources, and can even interbreed. Where bighorn range and domestic sheep operations overlap, it’s understandable that a randy ram might find a large flock of domestic ewes worth a closer look. Unfortunately, these forays can have deadly consequences. Even nose-to-nose contact between the two species can result in the transfer of a pathogen lethal to wild sheep. And because it takes time for animals to become symptomatic, an infected (but visibly healthy) bighorn that returns to its herd will spread the disease, potentially decimating an entire population.
Report observations of bighorns in the same field as domestic sheep/goats to the RAPP Line (1-877-952-7277).