Conservation bighorn sheep group. Courtesy photo
The Pajarito Group of the Sierra Club and Pajarito Environmental Education Center present a talk by Eric Rominger: Bighorn Sheep Reintroduction, at 7 p.m., Tuesday at the new PEEC Nature Center, 2600 Canyon Road in Los Alamos. The community is invited to attend this talk, which is free of charge.
Eric Rominger, the bighorn sheep biologist for the state of New Mexico, will talk about the reintroduction of bighorn in the Jemez Mountains/White Rock Canyon. Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep in New Mexico is a story of extinction and restoration. Rocky Mountain bighorn were extirpated in New Mexico at the turn of the century with one of the last bighorn reported by Adolf Bandelier in White Rock Canyon.
Only four historical ranges have been documented.
Restoration efforts were initiated in 1932 but the first successful translocation did not occur until 1940 when two ewes and a ram were brought from Alberta and released into the Sandia Mountains. Today more than 1,200 Rocky Mountain bighorn occur in 10 distinct herds. The most recent translocation was to historical habitat in the Jemez Mountains/White Rock Canyon. This is but one example of the world’s most successful wildlife restoration effort and has been funded primarily by the hunter-conservationist.
Since 1990, more than $4 million have been generated from the annual auction/raffle of two bighorn sheep permits. It is these monies that have funded the restoration of this iconic species of western North America. A short synopsis of the restoration of desert bighorn sheep from state-endangered species to protected big game animal will be included.