Ural-Tweed Bighorn Sheep Investigation.
Final rept. 1 Oct 76-31 May 79,
MONTANA DEPT OF FISH AND GAME HELENA
Pagination or Media Count:
Seven bighorn sheep were captured and equipped with telemetry collars, Two hundred and six relocations of radiocollared sheep provided information on seasonal distribution and movements, key use areas, home range size, habitat selection and population dynamics. The sheep population, estimated at fewer than 25 animals, was found to be a contiguous herd which made recurrent use of specific key areas throughout the range. Ural-Tweed bighorns were consistent in their use of exposed oversteepened terrain along the east escarpment of Lake Koocanusa, Five habitat types, received 100 percent of the sheep use annually, based on telemetry relocations, Grassy openings andd open forest cover types characterized sites selected by sheep during most seasons of the year. Rough fescue was found to be an important dietary constituent throughout the year, while browse, as a forage class, was important during periods of heavy-crusted snow conditions and also during spring flowering. Endoparasite loads were low, but the possibility of a population crash due to the lungworm-pneumonia complex during the 1960s is discussed. Thirty-five hundred acres of bighorn sheep habitat lost to Libby Dam Project and degeneration of residual habitat due to ecological succession in the absence of natural fires continues to reduce the carrying capacity of the range. Natural as well as human-caused decimating factors are discussed in relation to their overall influence on the sheep population. Recommendations for management of the Ural-Tweed sheep herd and its habitat are forwarded.
- STATISTICAL DATA
- SEASONAL VARIATIONS
- LABELED SUBSTANCES
- RADIOACTIVE ISOTOPES
- FOOD CONSUMPTION
- TELEMETER SYSTEMS