NDOW to Capture Bighorn Sheep

Date: 10/30/12
Contact: Douglas Nielsen
Phone: (702) 486-5127, ext. 3500

Residents of Henderson and Boulder City may notice increased helicopter activity in the River Mountains this week as biologists with the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) conduct an aerial trapping and translocation project for desert bighorn sheep.

Historically, animals captured during such operations have been transplanted into other mountain ranges within Nevada, but this time the captured animals will be turned over to the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources so they can be used to bolster the population of desert bighorn sheep in the Beehive state. If the weather cooperates and everything goes as planned biologists hope to provide Utah with as many as 50 animals.

“Cooperative efforts such as this are an important part of the overall conservation process,” said Pat Cummings, NDOW big game biologist. “They are critical to the success of a broader effort to restore wild sheep to their historic ranges throughout the Southwest. Here in Nevada we have been very successful when it comes to repatriating bighorn sheep in their historic ranges. Hopefully we can help Utah meet with the same level of success.”

Trapping and translocation has enabled Nevada’s overall wild sheep population to grow from about 3,000 animals in 1967 to more than 10,000 animals today. The primary trapping days for this project are scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 31 and Nov. 1, but may extend to Friday if necessary. NDOW will focus its trapping activities on the River Mountains between Henderson and Boulder City, and the Muddy Mountains south of Overton.

The Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) protects, restores and manages fish and wildlife, and promotes fishing, hunting, and boating safety. NDOW’s wildlife and habitat conservation efforts are primarily funded by sportsmen’s license and conservation fees and a federal surcharge on hunting and fishing gear. Support wildlife and habitat conservation in Nevada by purchasing a hunting, fishing, or combination license.