Disease, predation and hunting caused Yosemite’s population of Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep to plummet in the 20th century. In 2015, with support from Conservancy donors, a bighorn herd was released into Yosemite’s Cathedral Range, marking the endangered mammal’s return to the heart of the park’s wilderness for the first time in 100 years.

In 2016, thanks to your gifts, scientists used GPS monitoring to keep an eye on the Cathedral herd from afar; conducted field surveys to check on the bighorns; and searched for signs of potential predators, such as mountain lions and golden eagles.

Thanks to your support, bighorn experts have been able to continue working toward the long-term goal of establishing a self-sustaining herd of bighorn in Yosemite.

Completed in partnership with Yosemite National Park, California Department of Fish & Wildlife and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Learn more about releasing the Cathedral herd in 2015, and conducting sheep and predator surveys.

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.