Translocation is an important management tool used for nearly 100 years to increase bighorn sheep population numbers in Wyoming and to restore herds to suitable habitat throughout their historical range. Yet, translocation also can alter the underlying genetic diversity of managed wildlife species in both beneficial and detrimental ways.
To evaluate the long-term impact of bighorn sheep translocations, a University of Wyoming professor and postdoctoral researcher co-led a study from 2015-19. The research group characterised statewide genetic structure and diversity by using microsatellite and mitochondrial DNA data in 353 indigenous and translocated Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep populations in Wyoming. MORE