Oct 18, 2013 2:39 PM by Nikai Salcido

Last public meeting on restoring Bighorn Sheep to Santa Catalinas

TUCSON - The Arizona Game and Fish Department, the Coronado National Forest and an advisory committee are holding a final public information meeting about a recommendation that the state reintroduce desert bighorn sheep to the Santa Catalina Mountains.

The meeting will be held on Wednesday, October 23rd at 6:30 p.m. at the Loews Ventana Canyon Resort on 7000 N. Resort Drive.

The first 30 bighorn sheep are planned to be re-introduced November 16th to the Pusch Ridge Wilderness.

The overall goal is to have more than 100 animals after three consecutive years of transplants.

The total figure includes anticipated lamb births, estimated yearling survival rates, and natural mortality.

The goal the Santa Catalina Bighorn Sheep Restoration Project is to restore a healthy, viable and self-sustaining population of desert bighorn sheep to the range that coexists with an equally healthy native predator population in a naturally functioning ecosystem.

The reintroduced sheep will each be fitted with state-of-the-art satellite Global Positioning System collars that provide real time information about their location.

The project cost is estimated at $600,000 over the next three years.

A public and private fund raising effort is currently underway to secure necessary funding to complete the project.

Sponsorship opportunities are available through the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

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