WPR News
9:28 am
Mon December 24, 2007

Scientists collar Teton sheep

Laramie, WY – Scientists want to find out more about a herd of bighorn sheep that lives high in the Tetons.

A coalition of agencies in Western Wyoming is worried about the sheep because their numbers are so small. The herd of only 120 animals keeps moving to higher elevations.

Mark Gocke of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department says scientists will use GPS collars to try to understand the effect of winter recreation on the sheep, as well.

"What we're looking to learn is key habitat areas in the Tetons that these sheep are relying on and using on a regular basis," Gocke says. "The fact that we can get detailed information, it'll show us specific migration routes that the sheep take to get from one piece of habitat to another."

The first attempt to reach the sheep by helicopter failed in mid-December because of low visibility and high winds. But Gocke says they'll try to get collars on the sheep again in January.