Help Colorado’s Bighorn Sheep

Anyone can help monitor bighorn sheep in Colorado thanks to Mountain Studies Institute’s monitoring program. This program allows Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the Forest Service to document the presence of bighorns near domestic sheep grazing allotments as well as stray domestic sheep that may be near bighorns.

Colorado’s beloved state animal, the Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep, is at risk.

Domestic sheep carry a respiratory disease that is deadly for bighorns, and the current means of prevention is by separating domestic sheep and goats from bighorns.

Mountain Studies Institute developed a program to help the Forest Service and Colorado Parks and Wildlife document and record observations of bighorn sheep in Colorado. The specific location focus of this project is the southwest quadrant of Colorado.

This information will be used to broaden knowledge of the distribution and movement of bighorns and help decisions be made in terms of land management.

HOW: Submit photo observations to iNaturalist.org. Ensure that location services are enabled on your phone and camera app so that the sighting will be geo-referenced.

Immediately report bighorn sheep in proximity to domestic sheep to Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
Durango: 970-375-6714
Montrose: 970-252-6051
Gunnison: 970-641-7888
Monte Vista: 719-587-6905
In areas outside of SW Colorado, please contact the local Colorado Parks and Wildlife office.

WHEN: Observations are valuable any time of year, but especially during June-November (domestic sheep grazing season).

WHERE: This program is for all of Colorado, but the primary focus is the Southwest quadrant including San Juan National Forest, Rio Grande National Forest, Uncompahgre National Forest, and Gunnison National Forest.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE VISIT MOUNTAIN STUDIES INSTITUTE’S WEBSITE.