Bighorns being released into the Catalinas

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JimmyLyding
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Bighorns being released into the Catalinas

Post by JimmyLyding » Jun 08 2013 7:22 pm

http://azstarnet.com/news/science/envir ... 0adb5.html

Very cool

----- links added from thread -----

Jun 7th 2013 'A taste for bighorn sheep': Mountain lions threaten wildlife project
http://www.jrn.com/kgun9/news/210658811.html

Jan 24th 2014 Game and Fish reports 3 more bighorn sheep deaths
http://www.tucsonnewsnow.com/story/2454 ... eep-deaths

Jul 18th 2014 second transplant of bighorn sheep to the Catalina Mountains this fall, but no final decision has been made
http://tucson.com/news/local/bighorns-f ... deac1.html

Nov 18th Another Reintroduced Bighorn Sheep Dies Near Tucson
http://arizonahighways.com/blog/another ... ear-tucson

Nov 19th 14 bighorns captured, set for release in Catalinas
http://tucson.com/news/local/bighorns-c ... 7c41c.html

Nov 20th They killed 3 bighorns in the relocation process! No joke.
http://tucson.com/news/local/bighorns-r ... 59a8a.html

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chumley
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Re: Bighorns being released into the Catalinas

Post by chumley » Nov 20 2014 9:16 am

The other transplanted bighorns have died, most of them victims of mountain lions, and three lions have been killed for preying on sheep.
WTF!?

You transplant a primary prey species into a habitat loaded with predators, and then you kill the predator if it dares to prey on it? Isn't that some kind of effed up entrapment?

It's like putting mice in an enclosure full of snakes and then killing any snakes that eat the mice. Well, duh. ](*,)
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BobP
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Re: Bighorns being released into the Catalinas

Post by BobP » Nov 20 2014 9:27 am

I'm glad they re-introduced elk to AZ after the last of the native elk died or were killed in the early 1900's...although now there are too many elk in some areas..I'm glad Grizzlies weren't re-introduced because they :scared: me. Wolves and big horns are cool to see in the wild. Also glad Apache trout have made some what of a comeback. The lovable humpback chub would be cool to see...only have seen pictures and heard stories from Dennis the lead chub guy at Salt trail Canyon Camp

I don't like the idea of killing lions that eat big horns..they also do that in the KOFA's...if two or three sheep are killed in a short period by the same lion its killed.
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Re: Bighorns being released into the Catalinas

Post by outdoor_lover » Nov 20 2014 2:28 pm

The Whole thing is ludicrous....Bighorn Sheep are thriving in certain areas of this State...Let them be and quit trying to reinsert them in areas where they've already failed...This is about nothing but money and it really taints my feelings towards Fish and Game...Reminds me of the whole Jaguar Death Cover-up Fiasco that just left nothing but a bitter taste in my mouth...Sometimes the best Management is No Management...
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Re: Bighorns being released into the Catalinas

Post by JuanJaimeiii » Nov 20 2014 3:40 pm

Angers me as well. Did they not learn from the first mistake? Caption should read 19 Bighorns and 3 large cats dead due to a failed idea by the Fish and Game Department.

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Re: Bighorns being released into the Catalinas

Post by azdesertfather » Nov 20 2014 9:47 pm

Should we make this story even worse? They killed 3 bighorns in the relocation process! No joke.
:SB:
http://tucson.com/news/local/bighorns-r ... 59a8a.html
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Re: Bighorns being released into the Catalinas

Post by chumley » Nov 20 2014 11:24 pm

@azdesertfather
:roll: ](*,) ](*,) ](*,)
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Jim_H
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Re: Bighorns being released into the Catalinas

Post by Jim_H » Nov 21 2014 8:12 am

I still view it as an experiment, but one that really is probably not good for the species. They are not doing poorly in suitable habitat, and so with the goal of simply restoring the species to an area where, through the forces both natural and man made, it failed and died, and with out the ability to realistically manage the population's habitat, it just seems like a bad idea. I think I wrote about that when this got going.
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Re: Bighorns being released into the Catalinas

Post by outdoor_lover » Nov 21 2014 10:21 am

Interesting that they timed this Whole Thing when Jack Hanna was in Town...I'll bet they leave out the Fatality Details when they Air his Show....I had a feeling after watching the Video on the Capture that there would be Casualties...You can't throw a Net on anything that requires precise Footing in difficult Terrain and expect it to work all the time without Injuries or Deaths....I so hate this Project with a Passion...
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Re: Bighorns being released into the Catalinas

Post by Jim_H » Nov 21 2014 12:28 pm

Does anyone have numbers for the population of sheep in the Superstitions, and/ or where ever else these sheep where harvested?
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Re: Bighorns being released into the Catalinas

Post by nonot » Nov 21 2014 6:41 pm

Keep in mind that they do offer bighorn hunting permits, so I'm hoping that the relocation is saving the sheep by preventing them from being hunted?
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Re: Bighorns being released into the Catalinas

Post by chumley » Nov 21 2014 7:14 pm

The Superstitions fall in Hunt Area 24B. There is no bighorn tag available for 24B. The only HAZ reports I am aware of are sightings on Battleship, including one I saw a few weeks ago.

The other ones came from the Plomosa Mountains near Quartzsite, in Hunt Area 44B. It borders Hunt Area 45A (Kofa Mtns) which also issues sheep tags.

45A issues ONE tag per year, and 44B has had an average of 3 tags issued over each of the past 5 years.

AZGFD reports (as of 2009) that 45B has a population of 130 sheep, with 5 class III rams, and zero class IV rams.

As of 2009, 45A was experiencing historic lows in sheep populations and the trend was significantly decreasing.

No such reports exist from 44B, where these sheep were taken from. 44B has a geographic pass that results in more rainfall, and subsequently greener grass over a larger area. One can only hope that the population there is healthier and supports this relocation. Current figures are not published on AZGFD.com.
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Re: Bighorns being released into the Catalinas

Post by azdesertfather » Nov 21 2014 7:31 pm

@Jim_HGame Dept said they pulled these bighorns from the area around Canyon Lake. If you watch the video closely, you or someone else may be able to make out more exactly where they were.
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PhilMW
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Re: Bighorns being released into the Catalinas

Post by PhilMW » Nov 21 2014 8:17 pm

chumley wrote:The only HAZ reports I am aware of are sightings on Battleship, including one I saw a few weeks ago.
I saw 7 or 8 by the bridge at fish creek canyon earlier this week.

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Re: Bighorns being released into the Catalinas

Post by ASUAviator » Nov 21 2014 10:25 pm

nonot wrote:Keep in mind that they do offer bighorn hunting permits, so I'm hoping that the relocation is saving the sheep by preventing them from being hunted?
Ha! seriously? As if the lives of these animals are better spent wasted in an obviously failed experiment? Please...

Im pretty sure they auction off ~2 24b Ram tags a year. Big $$$. They'll probably put a few more of these special permits out there now to cover the tab. Unit 22, North of the Salt, has a draw for 2-4 tags a year. 21 Bighorn sheep have now been killed directly related to G&F. Most of which were ewes, which are far more important to the survival of the herd/species.

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Re: Bighorns being released into the Catalinas

Post by outdoor_lover » Nov 22 2014 12:23 am

chumley wrote:The only HAZ reports I am aware of are sightings on Battleship, including one I saw a few weeks ago.
Mike and Van had quite the Company of them on the Cliffs of Weaver's Needle last year and and Wally had a couple somewhere on the First Water side, on his Trips to Massacre Falls...They are pretty populated in the Goldfields too. There's Tanks out there for them and Brian and I saw a Herd a couple of Years ago. A lot of People get Photographs of them when they go out on Dolly at Canyon Lake. If you check the Bighorn Sheep Label, you can see where all we've at least gotten Photos of them...
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Re: Bighorns being released into the Catalinas

Post by RedRoxx44 » Nov 22 2014 4:27 am

http://www.catalinabighornrestoration.org/FAQs.html


I'd read carefully, esp the funding part.

https://www.fws.gov/laws/lawsdigest/FAWILD.HTML


A significant amount of funding comes from the above.

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Re: Bighorns being released into the Catalinas

Post by Jim_H » Nov 23 2014 8:25 pm

Spotted a number of them today on Table Mountain. They are neat to see, even if they really don't belong there.
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Re: Bighorns being released into the Catalinas

Post by mazatzal » Dec 18 2014 10:00 am

Plan to use helicopters in Arizona wilderness draws complaints
http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/loc ... /20511229/

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Re: Bighorns being released into the Catalinas

Post by chumley » Dec 18 2014 11:05 am

@mazatzal
But the department says helicopters are needed to manage or capture the animals when they are in remote portions of their ranges. Helicopters would be used to access the sheep in wilderness areas to collect blood samples, replace GPS collars, monitor health or investigate a death, for example.

"We'd only use them when we absolutely need to use them," said Joe Sacco, a wildlife manager supervisor who works on the Santa Catalina Bighorn Sheep Reintroduction Project.
:sl:

Things you can do without a helicopter (if you're not a fat, lazy, desk-bound AZGFD/Forest Service employee):
1. Access sheep in wilderness areas
2. Collect blood samples
3. Replace GPS collars
4. Monitor health
5. Investigate death

Things you need a helicopter to do:
1. pick up or drop off sheep that are being relocated.

:M2C:
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Re: Bighorns being released into the Catalinas

Post by Jim_H » Dec 18 2014 1:30 pm

I got a big spread for a retailer when I clicked that, but no worries.

I am starting to feel very negative about this sheep thing. No, not government conspiracy or follow the money with us wearing our aluminum hats, but that a well meaning idea has been sent down a road of gradually worse decisions that are just a shade of gray step apart, ending up being a farce with respect to what the overall management plan for the range happens to be. At some point, it is necessary for any manager to step back and consider what is being done, and if the outcome really warrants the actions being taken to implement the goal.

I stated a long time ago I thought it was an interesting experiment, but with sustainable herds in other ranges, and the natural die out of this heard, the way it likely died as a result of habitat degradation and urban encroachment, the fact that a once healthy heard with a broad area to range was fragmented and broken down into small meta populations that would inevitable die out, and that nothing has changed over this area except increased urbanization, it just seems that all the efforts are not worth the goal.

I read that the Catalina heard was part of a population of desert bighorn that ranged from somewhere south of the Gila River, to the border with Mexico, through not only the Catalina Mountains, but the deserts and ranges lower down, to other Sky Islands such at the Santa Ritas, Rincons, and west to the Silver Bell Mountains, which still host a remaining population. Given that, the heard probably died out from habitat degradation and genetic isolation, and if that is the case, it is never going to be a sustainable herd. It is senseless to introduce a non-endangered species, in an environment not really suitable to them, with the expectation that we will kill predators, and have to continually reinvigorate the herd with new individuals, either short term or long-term, to maintain the genetic diversity. A similar situation exists with the wolves in Isle Royal NP, where they will die out if the lakes don't freeze over allowing new blood to cross to the Island and breed with that meta population which is slowly dying, right now.

Though the sheep were in the mountains prior to our arrival, the area has changed. The sheep are still healthy and widespread in their range. Why not concentrate on maintaining the existing herds in suitable habitat, instead of attempting to put them where we want them? Is frequent fire a part of the management plan for the Catalinas? I don't think so. Given that, unless a large hot fire occurs, the forage will decrease over time. Are we going to continually kill natural predators, which are a part of a healthy ecosystem, merely to manage one species? I was never a fan of single species management, even for endangered species, and these are far from an endangered species. Create the habitat, and an organism will thrive. Since we no longer have the habitat, thrive is not likely no matter what we do..
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