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Bighorn Sheep and Aoudad

Tri-Species Project: Habitat Use and Potential Disease Transmission

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Photo credit(s): Dana Karelus (Mule Deer and Aoudad), Courtney Ramsey (Bighorn Sheep)

TCC is currently collaborating with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Borderlands Research Institute at Sul Ross University to look at movements and habitat use of bighorn sheep, mule deer, and invasive aoudad, and how they relate to potential disease transmission in the Trans Pecos area of Texas. 

Bighorn Genomics and Microbiome Research

Photo credit(s): docmigues / Adobe Stock

TCC is currently collaborating with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD).and Texas Bighorn Society to look at bighorn sheep and aoudad genetics, which will inform our understanding of genetic diversity and overall population connectivity of these two species. We are also investigating their internal microbiomes as it relates to disease transmission between individuals of the same species and among different species. This information will be vital for the successful management of bighorn sheep in Texas and have broad implications for bighorn throughout their range.

Potential Disease Transmission via Natural and Man-Made Water Sources

Photo credit(s): Ron / Adobe Stock

Links:  Rachael Wiedmeier,  Christopher Carter

As part of the collaboration with Texas Bighorn Society, the TCC will be continuing our initial work on water quality in bighorn sheep habitat. We will monitor water quality, test for potential disease relevant to big game species, and assess potential for disease transmission via indirect contact from drinking water within the Trans Pecos. This research has the potential to greatly increase our understanding of disease transmission in these areas, and may give us another tool for wildlife management.

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