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Desert Bighorn Sheep (Ovis canadensis)
Mammals Around Las Vegas, Wildlife Around Las Vegas
Desert Bighorn Sheep (Ovis canadensis)

General Information: Desert Bighorn Sheep (Ovis canadensis) are large sheep of desert mountains with a tan coat and white rump. Adult males are recognized by their large, curled horns. Females and young males have smaller, straighter horns.

Taxonomy: Order: Artiodactyla (Even-toed Hoofed Mammals); Family: Bovidae (cows, sheep, goats, and similar mammals).

Breeding: Males and females gather to breed in the fall (November, December). Males leave the females and young to form separate bachelor herds during the summer. Males fight by bashing heads. Females breed at age 2-1/2.

Desert Bighorn Sheep (Ovis canadensis)

Diet: Vegetation; browse on shrubs, grasses, and forbs.

Range: Southern Rocky Mountains in Canada south into Mexico throughout mountainous regions from California to Wyoming.

Where to Find: Bighorn are fairly common in the mountains around Las Vegas. Good places to look for them include the cliffs around Willow Springs Picnic Area at Red Rock Canyon NCA, crags along Highway 93 near Hoover Dam, and Hemenway Park in Boulder City.


Desert bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) A little extra company at the picnic. Link to many more photos of Bighorn at Hemenway Park, Boulder City, NV
Bighorn Sheep (Ovis canadensis) scat

Bighorn scat in the Arrow Canyon Range. These scats are not fresh; fresh scat would be blacker, shiny, and smoother on the surface. This pile is fairly large, most piles are smaller.

Bighorn scat is oblong and about 1/2-inch long. They are similar to Mule Deer pellets, but a bit larger, and rabbit pellets are smaller and round.

Bighorn Sheep (Ovis canadensis) Bighorn Sheep footprints in the mud. Sheep prints show the typical "cloven hoof" seen in all Artiodactyls (Deer, Pronghorn, Sheep, Cows, etc., but not Horses)
Desert Bighorn Sheep (Ovis canadensis) Bighorn Sheep don't live forever.
Desert bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis)
White bighorn sheep (not albino)
Desert bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis)
Bighorn Sheep at Hemenway Park, Boulder City
Desert Bighorn Sheep (Ovis canadensis)
Red Rock Canyon NCA
Desert bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis)
Death Valley National Park
Desert bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis)
Desert National Wildlife Range
Desert bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis)
El Dorado Wilderness Area
Desert bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis)
Zion National Park
Desert Bighorn Sheep (Ovis canadensis)
Bighorn Sheep in middle Nevada
Desert Bighorn Sheep (Ovis canadensis)
Bighorn Sheep at Lake Mead
Desert Bighorn Sheep (Ovis canadensis)
Bighorn sheep jumping barbed-wire fence in middle Nevada
Desert Bighorn Sheep (Ovis canadensis) scat
Bighorn scat
Desert Bighorn Sheep (Ovis canadensis)
Desert Bighorn Sheep skull with teeth

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
© 2016 Jim Boone; Last updated 140923

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