Resource selection, area requirements and monitoring of bighorn sheep in northwest Nebraska
February 2015 - April 2016
- State of Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
While bighorn sheep occur throughout the Western US, they often occur in small, isolated herds that are especially prone to periodic die-offs from disease, low genetic diversity and random population fluctuations. These effects reduce the potential for sustained harvest and the long-term maintenance of viable wild bighorn sheep populations. The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is interested in understanding the habitat requirements of sheep in Northwest Nebraska, with the goal of growing larger, self-sustaining populations. This project will use data from individually identified sheep between 2002 to present to understand habitat requirements, resource selection and movement dynamics of NE sheep. Indirect outcomes of this analysis will be to identify future data needs and monitoring requirements for these populations, and to provide a framework (e.g. databases, code) for quickly managing and analyzing data in the future.