Bighorn Sheep

Your support of bighorn sheep helps Advocates for the West protect remaining herds of these magnificent animals across the West.
Original oil painting by Rachel Teannalach of a photo by James Coda.

About the Campaign

Bighorn sheep are an icon of the American West—legendary for their strength and agility. At their peak, more than 2 million bighorn sheep roamed the West. Today, there are estimated to be less than 70,000.

Biologists have recently established that bighorn population crashes are often caused by contact with domestic sheep grazing on public lands. The domestic sheep carry strains of respiratory pathogens that almost always cause fatal pneumonia when transmitted to bighorns. Entire herds of bighorns have died out following contact with domestic sheep.

Advocates for the West recently secured lasting protections for bighorn sheep on the Payette national forest in Idahoa landmark victory that sets a precedent for protecting herds in other states. But the fight for their protection has just begun.


Click here to read more about our cases involving bighorn sheep.