RESOURCE SELECTION OF INTRODUCED CALIFORNIA BIGHORN SHEEP
|Emily R Hagler; Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, University of Nevada, Reno; firstname.lastname@example.org; Kelley Steward|
California bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) are native species of the Great Basin, occupying high elevation, precipitous terrain. Selection of resources and movements of bighorn sheep are likely driven by the distribution of escape terrain, water sources, and the quality and availability of seasonal forage. Individuals translocated must find adequate resources to survive. As bighorn sheep become familiar with their new range, the resources that they select reflects their ability to acclimate. We introduced 21 individuals to the Lake Range in the northwest region of Nevada, which is an isolated landscape primarily within the Pyramid Lake Paiute Reservation. Our objective was to evaluate how female bighorn sheep seasonally select habitat as they become familiar with the habitat to which they were introduced. We captured and translocated bighorn sheep into the Lake Range in January of 2020, including 9 adult females. Each individual was fitted with a Vectronic GPS collar that collected twelve locations points per day. We evaluated seasonal selection of resources to determine how translocated bighorn alter their habitat selection in their first-year as compared to the second-year. Our results show that female bighorn sheep narrow in their selection of resources the second-year post translocation as compared to the first-year.