This web page includes joint updates from the Arizona Game and Fish Department and the Catalina Bighorn Advisory Committee on the Catalina Bighorn Sheep Reintroduction Project.
The goal of the project is to establish a self-sustaining population of bighorn sheep in the Catalina Mountains that coexists with resident predators without administrative intervention. Bighorn sheep are being reintroduced because the Catalina Mountains are a part of their historical range; the project is trying to restore them to a natural ecosystem that they were an important part of for thousands of years. As long as one of its key pieces—bighorn sheep--is missing, the ecosystem is in some ways incomplete.
Questions and Answers about the Project
- New video footage of bighorn ram near ewes in the Santa Catalina. View video
- Read the op-ed piece, “Bighorn sheep project needs patience but moves in right direction,” posted on the Arizona Daily Star’s website (May 8, 2014). The article was written by three members of the Catalina Bighorn Advisory Committee (Randy Serraglio from the Center for Biological Diversity; Mike Quigley of The Wilderness Society; and Brian Dolan of the Arizona Desert Bighorn Sheep Society) and points out that worthwhile wildlife restoration projects are challenging and require patience. This adaptive management project has been making optimistic strides but will continue to be evaluated through an adaptive management process.
- Biologists observed another new lamb in the Catalina bighorn sheep population on April 2, 2014. This lamb brings the total to 5 for this year. In addition, biologist observed all of the known lambs and noted that they appeared healthy and are thriving.
- On Friday, March 28, 2014, a project biologist observed a ewe (ID #55) with her newborn lamb (see photo at right). This new lamb is the fourth addition to the newly reintroduced Catalina bighorn sheep population.
Bighorn sheep lambs play in Santa Catalinas. View video.
See more photos and videos on Facebook.
Project Status Updates
- Update from Jul. 7 - Jul. 20, 2014
- Update from Jun. 23 - Jul. 7, 2014
- Update from Jun. 9 - Jun. 22, 2014
- Update from May 26 - June 8, 2014
- Update from May 12 - May 25, 2014
- Update from Apr. 28 - May 11, 2014
- Update from Apr. 14 - Apr. 27, 2014
- Update from Mar. 31 - Apr. 13, 2014
- Update from Mar. 17 - Mar. 30, 2014
- Update from Feb. 17 - Mar. 2nd, 2014
- Update from Feb. 3 - Feb. 16, 2014
- Update from Jan. 20 - Feb. 2, 2014
- Update from Jan. 6 - Jan. 19, 2014
- Update from Dec. 12 - Jan. 5, 2014
- Update from Nov. 19 - Dec. 11, 2013
Catalina Bighorn Advisory Committee
Visit the Committee’s website
Forest Service updates bighorn sheep management area map; Restrictions remain in effect (Forest Service news release from Jan. 24, 2014)
Game and Fish Director Larry Voyles’ op-ed column in the Arizona Republic and on azcentral.com, Dec. 27, 2013
Advisory Committee's op-ed column in the Arizona Daily Star, July 5, 2013
Initial press release about the project, May 29, 2013
You can also learn more by visiting Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/azgafd#!/CatalinaBighorns