The 1970s reintroduction of bighorn sheep to the Zion National Park area in Utah has been successful – too successful.
To keep the herds at a healthy density, bighorn are routinely captured, tested, tagged and then moved to other areas.
Biologist Dustin Schaible told the St. George News, “We’ve had a pretty aggressive sheep transplant program in Utah. What we’re trying to do is reestablish them to other historic ranges where the sheep can have little contact with domestic livestock.”
What’s different now? It’s the helicopters. The agility and speed of the helicopters makes it easier to tranquilize the bighorn and trasport them, much like Yellowstone captures its wolves for testing. The biologists took flight in late November with a goal of capturing about 25 bighorn. Relocation plans are dependent on the number of animals captured. Under 25, and the sheep will go to Nokai Dome. More than 25, and the sheep will go to Beaver Dam Mountain.