Colo. DOW launching study of bighorns around Ouray

MONTROSE — The Colorado Division of Wildlife and U.S. Forest Service plan to launch a two-year research project this month on Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep in the Ouray area.

The study would look at the use of habitat and the migratory patterns of the Cow Creek-Wetterhorn Peak herd, which has about 150 animals.

Biologists plan to use a helicopter to capture up to 15 sheep and fit them with Global Positioning System collars. They say the study could help identify if bighorns and domestic sheep are occupying the same terrain at the same time, which could affect disease transmission in bighorns.

The herd once had about 300 animals before disease reduced the population in the 1980s to around 50. The herd has grown steadily during the last five years.


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