Wildlife Wednesdays: Bighorn Sheep

How long has it been since I posted a Wildlife Wednesday post? To long :/ Let’s get started:

Today’s feature is the Bighorn Sheep, Nevada’s state animal.

Bighorn Sheep 3

 

We all notice those impressive horns right off the bat. They weigh up to 30 lbs, and the sheep themselves, can weigh up to 300 lbs. The males, however, are the only ones to have these massive horns. The females are much smaller.  Males engage in a fight with other contenders to win the females over. May the best horns win!

So where can you find these stunning creatures? They inhabit mostly the Rocky Mountains and Sierra Nevada, along with the cooler mountain regions of Canada and the United States.  However, the subspecies (the Desert Bighorn) can be found in the deserts of the Southwestern United States. For animals such as these to be living in harsh rocky environments, they are natural climbers. They have balance aiding split hooves and rough hoof bottoms for the perfect grip. With that, their vision is also very keen.

Bighorn Sheep 7

The sheep may live in social groups, but males (rams) and females (ewes) typically only meet when it is mating season. Rams live with other rams and ewes live with others ewes, along with their young. Once fall arrives, is when both male and female are usually together.

The better population of Bighorn Sheep in an environment is a good indication of a good ecosystem, since they are sensitive to many human-induced environmental problems. By 1900, the population had crashed to several thousand. Conservation efforts have since restored them to a healthy level.

Conservation is key to these animals, like so many others. Keep our earth clean and clear, we all share it after all 🙂

Hope to have the Bighorn Sheep as a future subject for a painting as well. They are such an impressive an beautiful animal after all.

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