California Bighorn Sheep

California Bighorn Sheep look similar to Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep, but have a less blocky body and smaller horns.
SCIENTIFIC NAME
Ovis canadensis californiana
CLASSIFICATION
Mammal
LIFE SPAN
6-8 Years
SIZE
60-65 ” | 100-220 lbs
STATE CONSERVATION STATUS
  • Priority Species
FEDERAL CONSERVATION STATUS
Least Concern
GAME STATUS
Game
GAME TYPE
Big Game
  1. Washoe
  2. Humboldt
  3. Pershing
  4. Churchill
  5. Mineral
  6. Lyon
  7. Douglas
  8. Carson City
  9. Storey
  1. Elko
  2. Lander
  3. Eureka
  4. White Pine
  1. Esmeralda
  2. Nye
  3. Lincoln
  4. Clark

Habitat & Range

The California Bighorn Sheep is found in the slopes of the Sierra Nevada and prefers rugged, open areas with vegetation and grasses. They often move across their range as the seasons change.

  • Alpine and Tundra
  • Cliffs and Canyons
  • Desert Washes

Threats

  • Disease
  • Habitat Fragmentation
  • Habitat Loss

Natural History

California Bighorn Sheep are herbivores that spend their time grazing on sedges, grasses, and sagebrush. Mating season, called the “rut,” starts in fall and rams (male Bighorn Sheep) will compete to mate with females. Ewes, (female Bighorn Sheep) will have one lamb during spring to early summer.

Fun Facts

Are ruminants and possess a 4-chambered stomach, able to digest even the toughest parts of a plant. The horns of a ram are called "curls" and can weigh up to 30 pounds!