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Survival and cause-specific mortality of neonatal desert bighorn sheep in New Mexico

Desert bighorn lamb in Peloncillo Mountains, New Mexico

Duration

August 2011 - May 2014

Narrative

Based on recent population growth due to active recovery efforts conducted by the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish (NMDGF), desert bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis mexicana) have been removed from the state’s threatened and endangered species list. As a result of this delisting, desert bighorn sheep populations will be subjected to increased harvest in New Mexico. The NMDGF has identified the need to obtain estimates of lamb survival, recruitment and cause-specific mortality as part of ongoing efforts to manage for the continued growth of bighorn sheep populations in New Mexico. Our objectives are to: 1) estimate lamb survival and determine cause-specific mortality of neonatal desert bighorn sheep in the Peloncillo Mountains, New Mexico; and 2) continue ongoing monitoring efforts to determine causes of mortalities of adult bighorn sheep in the Peloncillo, Big Hatchet and Little Hatchet mountains.

Research Products and Activities

Peer Reviewed Publications

  • Smith, J.B., D.P. Walsh, E.J. Goldstein, Z.D. Parsons, R.C. Karsch, J.R. Stiver, J.W. Cain III, K.J. Raedeke, and J.A. Jenks. 2014. Techniques for capturing bighorn sheep lambs. Wildlife Society Bulletin 38:165-174. Download  | 
  • Karsch, R.C., J.W. Cain III, E.M. Rominger, and E.J. Goldstein. 2016. Desert bighorn lambing habitat: Parturition, lamb nursery, and predation sites. Journal of Wildlife Management 80:1069-1080. Download  | 

Thesis

  • R.C. Karsch. 2014. Desert bighorn sheep adult female and lamb survival, cause-specific mortality, and parturient female habitat selection in the Peloncillo Mountains, New Mexico, USA. M.S. Thesis. Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Ecology, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces. 121 pp.

Presentations

  • Karsch, R., J.W. Cain III, E.M. Rominger, and E.J. Goldstein. 2013. Desert bighorn sheep lamb survival and cause-specific mortality in the Peloncillo Moutains, New Mexico. Desert Bighorn Council Meeting, April 17-20,2013 Las Cruces, NM
  • Karsch, R., J.W. Cain III, E. Goldstein, and R. Rominger. 2014. Desert bighorn sheep lamb survival and cause-specific mortality in the Peloncillo Mountains, New Mexico. 47th Joint Annual Meeting of the Arizona/New Mexico Chapters of The Wildlife Society, Pinetop, Arizona, New Mexico, USA.
  • Karsch, R.C., J.W. Cain III, E.M. Rominger, E.J. Goldstein. 2015. Parturient desert bighorn sheep survival strategies: environmental characteristics at female parturition sites and lamb nursery and predation sites. 48th Joint Annual Meeting of the Arizona/New Mexico Chapters of The Wildlife Society, Las Cruces, New Mexico, USA.
 

Current Staff

Federal Staff: 2

Masters Students: 15

Phd Students: 5

Post Docs: 2

University Staff: 3

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 25

Scientific Publications: 52

Presentations: 161

 

Personnel

  • James CainPrincipal Investigator
  • Rebekah KarschStudent

Funding Agencies

  • New Mexico Department of Game and Fish
  • T & E, Inc.

Links

New Mexico Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Cooperators

  1. New Mexico Department of Game and Fish
  2. New Mexico State University
  3. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  4. U.S. Geological Survey