Visitor Center Open
Construction crews are replacing the parking lot in front of the visitor center. Please follow the signs, park in the side lot, and use the side doors. The Ben Reifel Visitor Center remains open every day from 8 am to 4 pm.
Bighorn Sheep are Lambing at Badlands National Park
Contact: Judy Olson, (605) 433-5240
Biologists have confirmed eleven healthy lambs born to Bighorn Sheep at Badlands National Park this year and expect to find more. All lambs observed this year are progeny from the translocation of Bighorn Sheep from Taos, New Mexico, accomplished in 2004 in cooperation with the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks and the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish.
Wildlife Biologist Eddie Childers observed several of the lambs during the first week of June and said that he expects to find more lambs in the park this month. "We have several collared ewes that haven’t been located yet, so it is just a matter of time before we find them and see if they have lambs" stated Childers. Childers also stated that the park’s population appears to be stable and slightly increasing. Several consecutive years of fall surveys have confirmed the total population is approximately one hundred animals park-wide. "The ewes are now beginning to move out of the remote lambing habitat to the more accessible areas around Pinnacles and Ancient Hunter’s Overlook -- this is a great time for visitors to see the lambs without having to hike long distances" stated Childers.
Did You Know?
Badlands National Park maintains an open backcountry policy for exploration of its rugged landscape. While the park has no formal backcountry permit or reservation system, hikers are advised to stop at the Ben Reifel Visitor Center for planning assistance, safety tips, directions, and regulations.