Steven addresses concerns about Texas bighorn sheep in light of exotic and invasive species introductions within the bighorn’s native range.
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.
Conservation Funding = Economic Growth on TRCP’s CFN
How do hunting and angling benefit the national economy? Watch “TRCP’s Conservation Field Notes” as Steven Rinella explains the many ways sportsmen enable a strong economic future for America.
Outdoor recreation has a substantial positive impact on the U.S. economy, with figures of $120.7 billion in product sales and $524.8 billion in trip and travel related spending.
Congress is considering damaging cuts to critical conservation programs that will not only affect hunting and fishing opportunities, but could have a detrimental effect on the outdoor recreation economy as whole.
Investments in our natural resources comprise a mere 1.26 percent of the federal budget, and current cuts under consideration are disproportionately weighted on conservation and recreation.
To learn more about conservation funding, please visit the below sites:
Did you know that one of the most serious threats to America’s outdoor heritage is invasive species? Nowhere is that threat more evident than in our own Great Lakes. Learn more.
Biologists and longtime sportsmen have seen firsthand the devastating effects of invasive species such as the sea lamprey eel, zebra mussels and Asian carp.
By wreaking havoc on equipment and on fishing and hunting, invasive species cost the American public $137 billion per year.
Hunters and anglers unintentionally spread invasive species from one body of water to another through boats, boots or other gear.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
CONSERVATION WORKS FOR AMERICA
As our nation rebounds from the COVID pandemic, policymakers are considering significant investments in infrastructure. Hunters and anglers see this as an opportunity to create jobs, restore habitat, and preserve fish and wildlife.