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Nevada: Wild Sheep Conservation Dollars in Action

April 8, 2021
posted in: Conservation, News

The Wild Sheep Foundation recently supported Utah State University Assistant Professor of Wildland Resources & Ecology Dr. Kezia Manlove, and Master’s graduate student Grete Wilson-Henjum deploy and maintain trail cameras over water sources (e.g.,  guzzlers) in the southern Nevada desert.

During summer 2020, more than 60 days were spent observing desert bighorn sheep, recording their behavioral interactions, and assessing distance traveled and movement frequency to utilize these water sources. The peak of this fieldwork occurred during summer 2020, but continues year-round.

Working closely with U.S. Geological Survey researcher Dr. Kathy Longshore, GPS-collared desert bighorns were closely monitored for daily movement patterns, particularly during and following lambing events. Camera-trap data were also correlated with field observation data to develop home-range size estimators and the influence of natural precipitation events on bighorn movements.

Data collected via this project will be analyzed to refine the existing Risk-of-Contact Model by incorporating desert bighorn-specific daily and periodic movement and behavioral data, along with home-range size estimators and desert bighorn response to precipitation events.

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