RESEARCHERS ERADICATE DISEASE IN GREATER HELLS CANYON BIGHORN SHEEP

Written by:Kristen A. Schmitt



Photo credit: Dreamstime


A collaborative testing effort between researchers, wildlife biologists and game managers from Idaho, Oregon and Washington has resulted in healthy bighorn sheep herds within the greater Hells Canyon region, The Lewiston Tribune reports. 


“Where we are now is that we have healthy populations almost everywhere in Hells Canyon and the Blue Mountains. It’s awesome,” said Frances Cassirer, a wildlife researcher for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game at Lewiston and Washington State University at Pullman. “There is no pneumonia. There is no mycoplasma. It’s not present.”


While a herd in the Wallowa Mountains of northeastern Oregon is still not disease-free, the rest of the herds within the area no longer show any signs of pneumonia or the bacteria that causes the fatal disease in wild sheep. This is amazing news, especially since bighorn sheep herds across the West have experienced massive die-offs due to strains of bacterial pneumonia.