* Threatened or Endangered
Bighorn Sheep *
: Ovis canadensis
: Rocky Mountains, from British Columbia to Arizona. They have also been introduced to the Badlands of North Dakota
: Grasses and shrubs
: Weight up to 300 lbs.
: Least Concern
• Once common across western North America where they numbered in the millions, their numbers were drastically reduced due to unregulated hunting, competition from domestic sheep, and disease.
• Thanks to proper management, they are making a comeback in many areas where they have been reintroduced.
• The impressive horns of the ram are well-known and are used to battle other males for breeding rights.
• These agile animals are well adapted for scrambling up and down mountains to elude predators and find food.
• Bighorn Sheep are considered good indicators of land health due to the species’ sensitivity to human-caused problems. If sheep are thriving in an area, the overall health of the land is good.
• The land near Theodore Roosevelt National Park in western North Dakota is a good place to see these animals in the wild.