British Columbia conservation group eyes property for bighorn sheep

©Fred Dunn

The Nature Trust of British Columbia is seeking to purchase and protect an 87.5-acre area of bighorn sheep habitat on the east side of Skaha Lake in the province’s southern region. About 500 bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) utilize this area for foraging and lambing according to The Nature Trust’s CEO, Jasper Lament. The parcel sits adjacent to the McTaggart-Cowan/Nsək’łniw’t Wildlife Management Area which provides the sheep with over 16,000 acres of protected habitat. If The Nature Trust is successful in acquiring the property, the group will focus management on increasing the quality of the land’s available habitat while improving sheep movement via habitat connectivity.

Bighorn sheep populations in North America have significantly declined during the past 150 years, due in part to disease outbreaks caused by contact with domestic sheep. Lament hopes that the acquisition of the Skaha Lake Eastside property will help managers maintain the separation between bighorn sheep and domestic sheep in the region.

Read more at CBC News.