Bighorn sheep are iconic mountain mammals, named for the male’s distinctive spiral horns (some can weigh up to 14 kg!). Did you know that they can balance on cliff sides as narrow as only 5 cm, and can jump up to 6 metres between mountain ledges?! Scaling mountains isn’t easy, but luckily they’re well adapted for this treacherous task. Their front hooves are bigger than their back hooves, and with their hard outer rim and soft middle, they provide traction that makes mountain climbing a breeze!
Home is where the grassland is
While they spend much of their time in the mountains, bighorn sheep make their way to the grasslands and valleys below to forage. These open ecosystems are full of the grasses and shrubs they love to feast on, and with few tall tree stands, bighorn sheep are able to spot predators from far away. Unfortunately as cities spread and land becomes converted to farmable fields, the important grasslands bighorn sheep rely on are disappearing – and quickly. That’s where you come in!
Earth Rangers is working with the Nature Conservancy Canada (NCC) on a project that will protect and restore a 1 600 hectare property in British Columbia called the Kootenay River Ranch. This conservation area is home to some of the country’s most iconic and endangered animals, providing food and shelter for tons of different plant and animal species. The property is like a puzzle, made up of pieces of habitat like open grassland and forest, and NCC is working hard to return the land back to its characteristic open landscape. By doing things like thinning dense thickets of trees and planning low intensity controlled fires to mimic the ones that used to occur more frequently, the Kootenay River Ranch will continue to be a healthy habitat for bighorn sheep for years to come!
Head to the Adoptions Section in the Earth Rangers App or visit the Earth Rangers Shop to get your Adoption Kit and help make a difference today!