Archive for the 'Big horned sheep' Category

Partners in Bighorn Restoration

Wednesday, May 15th, 2019

Working together to restore Desert Bighorn Sheep.

This is Passport to Texas

Restoring Bighorn sheep to the American landscape is an enormous undertaking.

Texas Parks and Wildlife and I form part of what’s called the Wild Sheep Working Group. So, there’s 19 state and Canadian provinces where some sort of wild sheep occurs.

Froylan Hernandez, the Desert Bighorn program leader for Texas Parks and Wildlife says reintroducing Bighorn isn’t a project we could undertake alone. The Texas Bighorn Society has been a huge driving force from the beginning of the restoration process.

We also partner with the wild sheep foundation, TWA, Dallas Safari, Houston Safari, and just numerous other organizations that we’ve partnered with to help the restoration effort.

Bighorn aren’t just being reintroduced to public lands.

We also have private landowners that have bighorns on their property and so critical that they allow us and give us access to go in and remove surplus animals to take them to other places. So, the private land owner is certainly a huge part in this thing.

It’s a massive project but Texas Parks and Wildlife, along with their partners, are up to the challenge. Results are promising, but there’s still plenty of work to do.

Our show receives support from the Wildlife Restoration program.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

The State Bighorn Sheep in Texas

Tuesday, May 14th, 2019
Bighorn Sheep release

Bighorn Sheep release

This is Passport to Texas

We almost lost the [Desert] Bighorn Sheep from the American landscape. What was the cause of such decline?

Primarily the introduction of domestic sheep and goats into Bighorn habitat. Diseases that domestic sheep and goats had that Bighorns had not been exposed to. Net wire fencing has also been associated domestic sheep and goat industry that prevented Bighorn movement. And then unregulated hunting.

Froylan Hernandez is Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Desert Bighorn program leader. He is one of many individuals tasked with returning Bighorn to their native habitat and things are going well.

So what we are doing now is translocating free ranging animals into unpopulated habitats… we’ve been able to restore sheep to three mountain ranges that haven’t seen Bighorns in over 60 years in the last 8-10 years.

Bighorn still face many challenges, but the future looks bright.

Luckily we don’t have the problems that you see in other states as far as disease goes. And so we are not immune to that but we certainly don’t have those problems. But yeah, I’m very hopeful.

Things are looking good for Bighorn sheep populations but there is a lot of work still left to restore balance back to our Texas landscapes.

The Wildlife Restoration program supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Welcoming Bighorn Sheep Back Home

Wednesday, October 24th, 2018
Relocating Desert Bighorn Sheep, photo by Earl Nottingham, TPWD

Relocating Desert Bighorn Sheep, photo by Earl Nottingham, TPWD

This is Passport to Texas

There’s a special quality about Far West Texas; and, as Froylan Hernandez can tell you. When Desert Bighorn Sheep are on the landscape, it’s awe-inspiring.

When I’m up on top of Elephant Mountain, my first glimpse of them, it’s overwhelming. Even if it’s just a single animal.

Hernandez is Desert Bighorn Sheep Program Leader for Texas Parks & Wildlife.

Historically, the native Texas Desert Bighorn Sheep occurred in about 16 mountain ranges out here in the Trans Pecos. Mainly due to unregulated hunting, diseases associated with the introduction of domestic sheep and goats, and net wire fencing – they brought the demise of the Desert Bighorn. And by the early 1960s, they were all gone from Texas.

For more than fifty years, Texas Parks and Wildlife and partners have worked to restore the Bighorn to its home range in Texas.

Luckily, the population in Texas is now big enough, we’re using those sources to transplant the animals to Big Bend Ranch State park.

And Big Bend Ranch SP superintendent Ron Trevizo welcomes them to a new home on the range.

When we started talking about the release coming in – to release the Desert Bighorn Sheep at Big Bend Ranch, I’m like – Yea, that’s great!

See how agency biologists translocate Desert Bighorn Sheep when you check out the Texas Parks and Wildlife YouTube Channel.

The Wildlife restoration program supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

TPW TV: Good Guzzlers

Friday, September 25th, 2015



This is Passport to Texas

For most of us, the word “guzzler” has a negative connotation, but not for the groups working to restore bighorn sheep.

04— A guzzler is essentially a rainwater collection system for wildlife.

Mark Garrett is Texas Parks and Wildlife Project Leader for Trans-Pecos Wildlife Management Areas.

09— We’ve got two large panels of sheet metal that collect the rainwater, funnel that down into storage tanks that feed to wildlife friendly watering stations.

Adequate fresh water is essential for the restoration of big horn sheep. During a segment on next week’s Texas Parks and Wildlife PBS Television Series, see how volunteers from the Big Horn Society, Like Kathy Boone, install new guzzlers on the Black Gap Wildlife Management Area.

13— Work projects normally last a couple of days, and they are always in extremely remote areas. For this work project, we’ve had over a hundred people here to help us build two water catchment devices we call guzzlers.

Workers must travel by helicopter to the mountain tops to construct the guzzlers, but volunteer Charlie Barnes says the challenges that come with the work are worth it.

11— This land is suitable for all the game that live here. It was missing one thing. Water. And now it’ll have water. That’s conservation right there.

View the segment on Good Guzzlers next week on the Texas Parks and Wildlife PBS TV series. Check your local listings.

The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program supports our series. Through your purchases of hunting and fishing equipment, and motorboat fuels, over 40 million dollars in conservation efforts are funded in Texas each year.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti.