October 5, 2015

HSC Provides Grant For Study of Aoudad and Desert Bighorn Sheep Interaction

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The Houston Safari Club (HSC) has provided a grant to the Borderlands Research Institute (BRI) to support the purchase of GPS collars for reasearch on aoudad and desert bighorn sheep interaction in the Chihuahuan Desert Grasslands in Texas.

There is currently great concern regarding desert bighorn and aoudad interactions. Various state wildlife agencies, biologists, and managers look to Texas to provide answers regarding aoudad and bighorn interactions. As a result, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in partnership with the Borderlands Research Institute at Sul Ross State University have initiated a research projected aimed at determining the level of interaction between these two species. This project will help further knowledge and protection of desert bighorn sheep not just in Texas, but throughout the southwest.

"HSC has been a staunch supporter of the BRI via research grants and through the dozens of student scholarships they've sponsored at SRSU over the last 20 years. We truly appreciate HSC stepping forward with their recent support of our aoudad and desert bighorn sheep study," stated Louis A. Harveson, Ph.D., the Dan Allen Hughes Jr., Endowed Director at BRI. "As we continue to work with TPWD on restoring desert bighorns to their former habitats of west Texas, one of the recurring questions we are asked is how do aoudad's impact the restoration effort. Unfortunately, there's little information out there on aoudad. We know aoudad carry a variety of diseases that are indeed harmful to bighorns and we know aoudad have higher reproductive rates than bighorns, but beyond that we really don't know what type of impact they have on our native bighorns. This study is long overdue and will address many of our concerns about aoudads outcompeting bighorns for food, water, and space."