BIGHORN SHEEP

Jasper bighorn sheep - Wildlife
(Ovis canadensis) BIGHORN SHEEP

Size of Jasper Alberta's Bighorn Sheep

  • Mass: 53 - 143 kg
    Length: to 6.5 ft. (2 m)


  • Where do Bighorn Sheep Live?

  • Wildlife living area: desert, mountains
    Status: special concern. Threatened with eventual extinction, bighorn numbers are only one-tenth the population that existed when white people first began exploiting the Rockies. The subspecies Ovis canadensis auduboni of the Black Hills and adjacent areas has already become extinct. Hunting has been prohibited or controlled since the early 1900's, but much illegal poaching still occurs. Recovery of numbers has been slow for these animals and their future is bleak unless further conservation measures are taken.
    Range: Bighorn Sheep are found in the Rocky Mountains from southern Canada to Colorado.


  • Bighorn Sheep Baby Descends Mountain Side in the Canadian Rockies


    Male Bighorn Sheep Climbing in Canadian Rockies


    Bighorn Sheep Ramming at Dusk



    Details on Jasper's Bighorn Sheep

  • Males 119-127kg; females 53-91 kg. Rams typically measure 160-180 cm from head to tail, while ewes are approximately 150 cm. Bighorn sheep have double-layered skulls shored with struts of bone for battle protection. They also have a broad, massive tendon linking skull and spine to help the head pivot and recoil from blows.



Horns may way as much as 14 kg, which is the weight of all the bones in a ram's body. The horns of a female are much smaller and only slightly curved. The horns of a ram can tell much about him such as his age, health, and fighting history. The desert subspecies, Ovis canadensis nelsoni, is somewhat smaller and has flatter, wider-spreading horns. Certain species of sheep wool is shaved off of and used as a plush natural source for Sheepskin Boots, shoes, blankets and medical cushions.

Bighorn tracks are 2.5 - 3.5 in. (6 - 9 cm.) long and are splayed somewhat when running.




bighorn tracks - Jasper Wildlife
Bighorn Sheep Tracks