Protect the Canyon’s Desert Bighorn Sheep

The largest and most expansive population of the Desert Bighorn sheep live below the rim of the Grand Canyon.

Centennial Stories of the Grand Canyon
Monsoons at the Grand Canyon
Visiting the Grand Canyon During Winter

Protect the Canyon’s Desert Bighorn Sheep


The largest and most expansive populations of Desert Bighorn sheep live below the rim of Grand Canyon. Both captivating and charismatic, perhaps no other animal in Grand Canyon National Park commands as much cultural reverence as the bighorn sheep and its invaluable contribution to the rich ecosystem of the canyon. However, desert bighorns are vulnerable to population decline and much is unknown about health, habitat, population size and exposure to disease. Park biologists have recently discovered a strain of pneumonia in some of the sheep causing decline in the population across the Southwest. There is an urgent need to learn more about this invaluable species to help put measures in place that can protect future generations.

Because their habitat is often below the rim of the canyon, many visitors do not get to see the iconic bighorn. Education is needed to help bring this animal to life for the many visitors of Grand Canyon.

Funding will

  • Develop the first population estimate of bighorn sheep in Grand Canyon
  • Determine an overall health assessment of the of the bighorn population at Grand Canyon National Park through citizen science based data collection
  • Provide for monitoring equipment like GPS collars to aid in population tracking.
  • Incorporate history and values from surrounding native American tribes to understand the ecology and management of bighorn sheep
  • Develop a plan to reduce disease related population decrease and a conservation strategy for the desert bighorn.
  • Help produce interpretive displays to educate visitors on the life and importance of the desert big-horn sheep

two-year fundraising goal: $134,640

funds raised as of November 30, 2015: $44,226

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