It is widely recognized that Wyoming's Bighorn Sheep populations have experienced population declines over several decades. Field observations supported by laboratory analysis show the years of greatest decline for wild sheep correspond to high precipitation years. However, such wet years although detrimental to the overall sheep health, do not happen often. Wyoming's Wind River Range experienced record snowfalls that left snowpack at 300% above normal this past winter. Research has indicated that in such wet conditions crucial mineral nutrients become less available in forage plants, depriving Bighorn Sheep of required selenium and others vital to their overall health, reproductive capacity and thus their survival. This is especially true for the year's newborn lambs. Deficiency of such required nutrients often leads to lamb mortality and poor condition of breeding ewes.
Researchers with the Bighorn Restoration Group, have initiated a research project designed to study the effects upon a local Bighorn Sheep herd from the high precipitation year. This is a project that has been built on the back of a long term monitoring and research project conducted by local biologists and ecosystem scientists. The critical question is how a high moisture year affects levels of nutrients, particularly selenium, in forage plants and soil. To complete this study and take advantage of the wet year in the sheep habitat in the Wind River Range, funding of $50,000.00 is needed. The goal of the study is to develop long term solutions to increase lamb recruitment rates and to ultimately increase Bighorn Sheep health and ultimately herd numbers.
The North American Packgoat Association is supporting this Group and respectfully asks that you consider donating to this worthy cause. Donations as low as $5.00 are welcome.
100% of all donations will go to funding this research project. (Less GoFundMe fees).
(For more detailed information about this specific research project, please go to www.bighornrestorationgroup.org or Bighorn Restoration Group on Facebook.)
- Taffy Mercer
- Diane Miller
- Alicia Hess
- Matt Lyon
- Ryan Marler
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