Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: New Mexico
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

New Mexico Project


Influence of livestock grazing on activity budgets and foraging efficiency of desert bighorn sheep

January 2012 - May 2014


Personnel

Participating Agencies

  • T & E, Inc.
  • New Mexico Department of Game and Fish
Female desert bighorn sheep

Recent population growth has prompted the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish to petition for the removal of desert bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis mexicana) from the state’s threatened and endangered species list. To more effectively manage desert bighorn sheep as a game species, the NMDGF has identified the need to assess the potential impacts of cattle grazing on forage resources and the subsequent influence on foraging ecology of desert bighorn sheep in New Mexico. PROJECT GOALS 1) Compare seasonal biomass of preferred forage species for desert bighorn sheep in areas with and without livestock grazing. 2) Estimate seasonal activity budgets of desert bighorn sheep in areas with and without livestock grazing. 3) Compare foraging efficiency of desert bighorn sheep in areas with and without livestock grazing. 4)Continue ongoing monitoring efforts that are currently being conducted by independent contractors to document and determine causes of mortalities of adult bighorn sheep fitted with radio collars in the Caballo and San Andres Mountains.

Research Publications Publication Date
Garrison, K.R., J.W. Cain III, E.M. Rominger, and E.J. Goldstein. 2016. Sympatric cattle grazing and desert bighorn sheep foraging. Journal of Wildlife Management 80:197-207. | Download 2016-02-28
Presentations Presentation Date
Garrison, K., J.W. Cain III, E. Goldstein, and R. Rominger. 2014. Influence of sympatric livestock grazing on desert bighorn sheep forage resources and foraging behavior. 47th Joint Annual Meeting of the Arizona/New Mexico Chapters of The Wildlife Society, Pinetop, Arizona, New Mexico, USA. 2014-02-07
Garrison, K.R., J.W. Cain, III, E.M. Rominger, and E.J. Goldstein. 2013. Influence of livestock grazing on forage biomass, activity budgets and foraging efficiency of desert bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis mexicana) in southern New Mexico. Desert Bighorn Council Meeting, April 17-20,2013 Las Cruces, NM 2013-04-18
Garrison, K.R., J.W. Cain III, E.R. Rominger, and E. Goldstein. 2013. Influence of livestock grazing on forage biomass, activity budgets and foraging efficiency of desert bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis mexicana) in southern New Mexico. 46th Joint Annual Meeting of the Arizona/New Mexico Chapters of The Wildlife Society, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA 2013-02-08
Theses and Dissertations Publication Date
Garrison, K.R. 2014. Influence of livestock grazing on desert bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis mexicana) forage resources and foraging behavior. M.S. Thesis. Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Ecology, New Mexico State University. Las Cruces. 83 pp. 2014-08-31