WDFW conducts bighorn sheep captures to assist monitoring and management

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Staci Lehman, Public Affairs, 509-710-4511

YAKIMA– The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife will conduct aerial captures of bighorn sheep in late January as part of ongoing efforts to monitor the Umtanum/Selah Butte, Manson, and Sinlahekin herds.

Bighorn sheep conservation in Washington is challenged by outbreaks of pneumonia and, in some herds, limited knowledge of how they use their habitat. Bighorn pneumonia is caused by a pathogen called Mycoplasa ovipneumoniae. Outbreaks can result in all-age die-offs with subsequent outbreaks commonly causing additional mortality, especially in lambs.    

“Fitting bighorn with radio collars gives us a better picture of how outbreaks affect the population when they occur,” said Kyle Garrison, WDFW ungulate section manager. “The GPS data from those collars also allows us to quantify how they use their habitat, which ultimately helps us manage for quality habitat and healthy bighorn herds”.

WDFW will deploy approximately 10 collars in both the Manson and Sinlahekin herds and replace five collars in the Umtanum/Selah Butte herd.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife works to preserve, protect and perpetuate fish, wildlife and ecosystems while providing sustainable fish and wildlife recreational and commercial opportunities. 

Individuals who need to receive this information in an alternative format, language, or who need reasonable accommodations to participate in WDFW-sponsored public meetings or other activities may contact the Title VI/ADA Compliance Coordinator by phone at 360-902-2349, TTY (711), or email (Title6@dfw.wa.gov). 

Individuals who need to receive this information in an alternative format, language, or who need reasonable accommodations to participate in WDFW-sponsored public meetings or other activities may contact the Title VI/ADA Compliance Coordinator by phone at 360-902-2349, TTY (711), or email (Title6@dfw.wa.gov). For more information, see https://wdfw.wa.gov/accessibility/requests-accommodation.