The TRCP has teamed up with Steven Rinella, host of the show MeatEater on the Sportsman Channel, to serve you up a helping of conservation. Paired with each exciting new episode where Rinella follows in hot pursuit of great hunts and killer food, the “TRCP’s Conservation Field Notes” features Rinella on location talking about key conservation issues related to that hunt. Watch the latest video below and sign up to get involved today… because great habitat means great hunting!
Texas Bighorn Sheep
Bighorn sheep are what biologists call an “indicator species” – one whose presence, absence or abundance is reflective of a larger environmental trend.
After years of declining numbers resulting from unregulated hunting and disease, Texas bighorns have rebounded to their pre-settlement population levels.
Bighorns are threatened by the introduction of the exotic and invasive Aoudad sheep. Aoudad sheep compete with bighorns for habitat and risk transmitting viral and bacterial pathogens foreign to bighorn immune systems.
The greatest limiting factor in bighorn recovery, however, is disease transmission from domestic sheep and goats.
In order for Texas bighorn populations to remain robust, management practices must eliminate contact between bighorns and domestic sheep and goats and strictly manage Aoudad numbers.
Wild sheep populations in Texas may be recovering, but herds across the West continue to dwindle due to factors such as disease transmission and climate change.
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