2020—Connected

One of the common sights when photographing Bighorn Sheep is the telemetry equipment attached to their necks that is used to track their movements that ultimately will ensure the survival of the species in the Flaming Gorge area. By the mid twentieth century, Bighorn sheep, anywhere in Utah, were rare sights, decimated by over-hunting, loss of habitat, and fatal diseases transmitted by domestic sheep. Efforts from a coalition that included the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, the Foundation for North American Wild Sheep, and the National Park Service proved successful in reintroducing Bighorns to their former ranges throughout Utah, including Flaming Gorge and Red Canyon by the mid 1980s. I photographed this ram, with his large collar near Red Canyon. The collars are made to transmit until the fasteners disintegrate and allow the collar to drop off. Researchers then track down the collar from its signals. Not all sheep are tagged and collared but it is still a common for a few sheep, both rams and ewes, in each herd to have this equipment.

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