Species: Bighorn Sheep Scientific Name: Ovis canadensis Current Status: Endangered
We’re starting out our Colorado Endangered Species Week in a big way focusing on our official state animal: bighorn sheep! Bighorn sheep get their name from their big, curved horns on the rams. Ewes rock shorter, less curved horns, but they’re still a big deal.
Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep are currently endangered.
Diseases like bacterial pneumonia from domestic sheep and goats are a huge threat to bighorn sheep. Other threats (historical and current) include overhunting, competition with domestic species for food, mining, vehicle collisions, and habitat fragmentation.
A huge thank you to our Join the Herd partner:
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Here are some things you can do to join the herd to celebrate bighorn sheep:
- “Impacts of Disease on Bighorn Sheep Management,” from The Wildlife Society.
- “Photo Ark: Bighorn Sheep,” from National Geographic.
- Join the Bighorn Sheep Peeps with a donation!
- Sign up to volunteer with Go Big! our newest citizen science project to help protect bighorn sheep.
- Sign our petition asking the BLM to improve protections for bighorn sheep in the draft Eastern Colorado Resource Management Plan
- Get comfortable with iNaturalist so that you’re ready to participate in Go Big! when the Safe at Home order ends.
- Draw a Bighorn Sheep in 9 Easy Steps! Consider sending it to us and we’ll post it on our social media and share during Endangered Species Day (coming soon).
- Color in your own bighorn sheep, and this one too! Consider sending it to us and we’ll post it on our social media and share during Endangered Species Day Parade.
For Adults: Check out our volunteer training webinar to learn how to participate in Go Big! Central Colorado Bighorn Sheep Survey (19 minutes). And then read our Go Big! citizen science page for next steps.
For Kids: “Mountain Goat or Bighorn Sheep” from PBS Science Trek (1 minute).
Check out our Colorado Endangered Species Week page for more days of activities!
Feel free to download our bighorn sheep card below! Simply right click and save.