• Giant Sequoia Trees

    Sequoia & Kings Canyon

    National Parks California

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  • Road Construction Delays on Park Roads for 2014 Season

    Expect occasional 15-minute to 1-hour delays in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks on weekdays only (times vary), including delays to/from the General Sherman Tree, Crystal Cave, and Grant Grove. More »

  • Vehicle Length Limits in Sequoia National Park (if Entering/Exiting Hwy 198)

    Planning to see the "Big Trees" in Sequoia National Park? If you enter/exit via Hwy. 198, and your vehicle is longer than 22 feet (combined length), please pay close attention to vehicle length advisories for your safety and the safety of others. More »

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    We are experiencing technical problems receiving incoming phone calls. We apologize for the inconvenience. Please send us an email to SEKI_Interpretation@nps.gov or check the "More" link for trip-planning information. More »

Bighorn Sheep

StockPhoto_TwoRams_graber

NPS Photo/D. Graber

A Major Milestone in the Recovery of Federally-Endangered
Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep

Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis sierrae) are now occupying the Great Western Divide for the first time in over 100 years due to recent efforts by state and federal agencies!

Between March 19-22, a total of 10 ewes (females) and 4 rams (males) were translocated from land in the Inyo National Forest to the Big Arroyo area of Sequoia National Park by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), in cooperation with the National Park Service (Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks), U.S. Forest Service (Inyo National Forest), and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

This major milestone in the recovery of this endangered species was conducted through helicopter-supported capture of bighorn sheep in wilderness areas of the Inyo National Forest. CDFW staff and volunteers, including veterinarians and biologists, as well as several staff from other agencies, were present to assess each animal's health and ensure their safety throughout the entire process. Each animal was fitted with a radio collar and a GPS collar in order to track movements and survival.

Without the leadership of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and strong interagency cooperation with our partners, the U.S. Forest Service, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, this project would not have been possible.

This work was part of ongoing efforts to monitor the status of other radio-collared bighorn sheep that use the parks, to study bighorn sheep habitat use, and to evaluate the impacts of wilderness recreational activities on the sheep and their habitat. Following this recent effort, there are now 11 herds of Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep between Owens Lake and Mono Lake, including areas outside of Sequoia and Kings Canyon
National Parks. Two additional herds are needed to meet recovery goals: (1) Taboose Creek, which overlaps the eastern boundary of Kings Canyon National Park, and (2) Laurel Creek, which is almost completely within Sequoia National Park.

In general, CDFW conducts ground surveys annually to determine the population size of Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep, and recent estimates place that number in excess of 500 animals.

 
CodyRamGroup1[1]

California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Background:

For the completed Environmental Assessment and related documents about this project in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, visit:
Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep EA:
Research and Recovery Actions

For more information about bighorn sheep and the larger-scale recovery program, visit:
Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep Program

 

Did You Know?

California toad

Amphibians and reptiles live at all elevations within Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks. They range from common (such as western fence lizards and garter snakes) to rare (such as the mountain yellow-legged frog) to locally extinct (such as the foothill yellow-legged frog).