Bighorn Sheep Return to Big Bend Ranch State Park - Texas Parks and Wildilfe [Official]


Uploaded by TexasParksWildlife on 10.02.2011

Transcript:
Come on, big boy!
THE BIGHORNS ARE BACK.
50 YEARS AGO THESE WILD MOUNTAIN SHEEP
DISAPPEARED FROM TEXAS.
TODAY MARKS A HISTORIC RETURN TO THEIR HOMELAND.
We're collaborating with State Parks to
reintroduce a species that hasn't been here in decades.
NATIVE TO THE RUGGED MOUNTAINS OF WEST TEXAS,
DESERT BIGHORNS WERE WIPED OUT
BY UNREGULATED HUNTING AND DISEASE.
They're part of our natural history out here in west Texas.
They were here long before any of us showed up.
They're part of the natural ecosystem out there
and of course they're a flagship species of these mountains.
TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE HAS BEEN PARTNERING WITH
OTHER WILDLIFE GROUPS TO REESTABLISH THE BIGHORN POPULATION
IN TEXAS.
You know they're just a magnificent species,
one of the most rare and
we're just happy to be a part of bringing them back.
AS HERDS GAIN A FOOTHOLD IN WEST TEXAS,
SHEEP CAN BE MOVED TO BALANCE AVAILABLE HABITAT.
HOW DO YOU MOVE AN ANIMAL WITH HORNS
THAT WEIGH UP TO 30 POUNDS?
VERY CAREFULLY.
Today we're capturing bighorn sheep of course
and we're transplanting them to Big Bend Ranch State Park.
The blindfolds help, number one, to keep the animals calm
and it also keeps the dust out of their eyes.
We're going to be tracking these animals.
We've also got partners out here taking blood samples.
We're trying to get some baseline information from these animals.
That's important for future restoration projects.
Ticks?
These animals are fitted with GPS collars.
At some point in time the collars will fall off
and we can download those data
and see where the sheep have been and what they've been utilizing.
The rams will--they're known to fight.
So we try to keep the rams separate just to cut down on fighting.
THESE SHEEP ARE TRANSFERRED ABOUT 100 MILES AWAY
TO BIG BEND RANCH STATE PARK.
THIS MARKS THE FIRST BIGHORN SHEEP REINTRODUCTION
AT A TEXAS STATE PARK.
Seeing a new species that was here many years ago
to return to these grounds,
It was just very touching, it really was.
Seeing those little white rumps just jump, jump moving so fast
something we've never seen or had out here before.
BIGHORN FANS HOPE TO SEE MORE OF THESE MAJESTIC ANIMALS
RECLAIM THEIR NATURAL HOME.
This is just one of those steps in the process.
There's a lot of other private land tracks
and public land tracks we hope to restore sheep to someday.