Idaho Wild Sheep Conservation on Jim Sage
ID WSF: $15K
The Jim Sage Mountains of south-central Idaho are an isolated range surrounded by agricultural lands on the Idaho/Utah border. This is historical California bighorn sheep range, but just like the Owyhee Front, Jack’s Creek and Bruneau-Jarbridge California bighorns they were extirpated here in the early 1900s. The success of Idaho Department of Fish and Game reintroductions in Owyhee County produced surplus sheep which were used to re-establish the current Jim Sage population. But these animals persist under difficult conditions.
Surrounded by private land their potential for contact with domestic sheep is high, and rams are known to foray onto Forest Service lands across the border into Utah, which are used as grazing allotments for domestic sheep. In December 2022, 15 rams and ewes were captured and collared on Jim Sage Mountain, to document seasonal movements, habitat use, cause-specific mortality and to acquire the knowledge necessary to mitigate the chances of contact between wild sheep and the domestic sheep that potentially carry Movi.