he steep and imposing canyon walls of Sierra El Alamo are lined with images that reveal the significance of wild sheep to local inhabitants thousands of years ago. Once widely distributed throughout northern Mexico, less than 30 years ago desert bighorn sheep had all but disappeared from the mountains of this region of Sonora, Mexico.
On November 10, twenty-one free-ranging desert bighorn sheep were released into this historic habitat on Sierra El Alamo. A total of 60 animals have been transplanted to the area over the last 8 months. This is the third of many planned releases to eventually repatriate 200 desert bighorns to the area. The Sierra El Alamo restoration effort is being accomplished through the cooperative efforts of landowner Javier Artee and family, Wild Sheep Foundation, Dallas Safari Club Foundation and hunters who continue to invest in conservation throughout the world. According to Jacobo Artee, “Desert bighorn sheep are an important part of our culture in Mexico and my family is proud to play a role in repatriating these animals for the people of Sonora, Mexico.”
The restoration of free-ranging desert bighorn sheep to their rightful place in the mountains of Sierra El Alamo is significant. “Putting and keeping wild sheep on the mountain such as those of Sonora, Mexico is why we exist – it is what we do, and to actually be here participating in this historic event is extremely powerful,” stated Wild Sheep Foundation CEO and President Gray N. Thornton.
The Sierra El Alamo transplant project is one of several WSF has partnered with in the Mexican states of Coahuila, Chihuahua and Sonora. “The ability to make these transplants happen on free range ranches in Mexico with minimal red tape is a great way to move the needle and restore desert bighorns to their native ranges. WSF is honored to work alongside these visionary landowners and conservationists” Thornton added.
Source: Foundation For North American Wild Sheep