In 2015, Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep were released into Yosemite’s Cathedral Range, marking the species’ return to its ancestral home after a century-long absence. That milestone moment and other donor-supported efforts have helped these rare, remarkable mammals start on a path toward removal from the endangered species list.

The record-breaking 2016–2017 California winter created unusually harsh conditions in the bighorns’ alpine habitat. The Cathedral sheep population shrank but endured. Now, the herd needs to build resilience in order to ensure its long-term survival.

This grant supports urgent steps to increase the size and genetic diversity of the Cathedral herd. Scientists will carefully introduce new sheep, and they will use GPS collars and field surveys to track the sheep throughout the year.

Your support will help establish a self-sustaining bighorn herd in the heart of Yosemite.

Partnering with Yosemite National Park, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep Foundation

Sarah Stock

Wildlife Biologist, Yosemite National Park

Project Notes

Monitoring Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep, in conjunction with public outreach and education, is enhancing understanding of this iconic alpine species.