Desert Bighorn Sheep

September 12, 2013 by  

Desert Bighorn Sheep, The desert bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis nelsoni) is a subspecies of bighorn sheep found in the desert Southwest United States and the northern regions of Mexico. The trinomial of this species commemorates the American naturalist Edward William Nelson (1855-1934).

The characteristics and behavior of desert bighorn sheep generally follow those of other bighorn sheep, except for adaptation to the lack of water in the desert; bighorn sheep can go for extended periods of time without drinking water.

Populations of the desert bighorn sheep declined drastically with European colonization of the American Southwest beginning in the 16th century. As of 2004, desert bighorn sheep numbers are extremely low, although the overall population trend has increased since 1960. These declines were followed by a period of population stabilization ascribed to conservation measures.

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