Bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis californiana, Ovis canadensis canadensis)
Maintain sensitive ranges other than winter range.
WHAs should be established on some critical ranges such as lambing areas, transitional ranges and certain alpine forage and escape habitat. WHAs will generally be 50 ha or smaller.
Maintain WHA in a natural state.
Minimize access to prevent human disturbance and to avoid invasions of non-indigenous plants into grassland communities.
Avoid disturbance to lambing area.
These measures must be applied within a WHA approved for the species.
Lambing season is generally between April and July 15. However, times may vary by location. MELP should be consulted for site-specific times.
Winter range is an important aspect of bighorn sheep habitat; however, it is not considered in the Identified Wildlife Management Strategy because it is covered by a specific regulation (Section 69) in the Operational Planning Regulations.
Migratory bighorn sheep must be managed on an ecosystem basis, incorporating low-elevation winter ranges, transitional ranges and high-elevation summer ranges. Connectivity between seasonal ranges should be maintained. Additional recognition and protection of certain lower grasslands and alpine habitat within higher level plans will ensure the retention of year-round bighorn ranges.