Arizona Game and Fish to vote on bighorn sheep translocation in Utah


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On April 15th, 2022 the Arizona Game and Fish commission (AZGFD) will meet to consider and vote on proposed changes to hunting and fishing regulations, season dates and whether or not to answer the Utah Department of Natural Resources request for Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep to be translocated to Antelope Island. The goal of which is to augment a nursery herd they have established on Antelope Island.

Antelope Island was once a great resource for Utah Department of Natural Resources in their efforts to repopulate the state with Bighorn Sheep. Unfortunately in November of 2018, two collared bighorns were discovered dead and soon reports of other bighorns dying emerged. The cause of which was found to be pneumonia and the decision was made to cull the entire herd.

Following the loss of this herd, plans began to be made to reintroduce bighorns to Antelope Island but translocating sheep usually takes years to plan and properly execute. Due to outside funding and ambition in 2019, 25 bighorns were reintroduced to Antelope Island with the hope of restarting this once healthy herd. A second translocation of bighorns to this herd could provide excellent genetic diversity and secure the longevity of these animals in Utah.

AZGFD is set to meet on April 15th at 8PM at the Arizona Game and Fish Department (headquarters), 5000 W. Carefree Highway, in Phoenix. Those wishing to join the meeting remotely may view the meeting at www.azgfd.gov/commissioncam or may listen to the meeting by calling 404-397-1516, Access code: 280 046 234##.

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