Mountain Sheep, Ovis canadensis

Mountain Sheep
Mountain Sheep  

Mountain Sheep were once widely distributed in the western United States. The species was somewhat variable and biologists divided them into a number of somewhat distinct subspecies, each located in different portions of the west.

Uncontrolled hunting and eradication campaigns by sheepherders had greatly reduced their numbers by the early 1900's and some feared that the species would become extinct. Early conservation efforts, in this case spearheaded by the Boy Scouts, helped preserve the species. In the ensuing century the sheep have slowly increased their numbers, largely in protected areas such as national parks.

Unfortunately the subspecies found in the western Dakotas did become extinct - the sheep you see here are reintroduced from other areas.

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And seem to be doing well.
  Mountain Sheep