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Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area

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Data were collected from 05-88 to 12-88 in continued research to aid in the development of a management program for Rocky Mountain bighorn Sheep (Ovid c. canadensis) at Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area (BICA). A principle goal of the management program at BICA is to promote the continued expansion of a recolonized population throughout ancestral habitat in the area (BICA 1984). In previous research at BICA (Coates and Schemnitz, 1988), we identified 3 factors as potentially limiting to herd expansion: visitor and (or) vehicular disturbance of bighorns (esp. reproductive ewes), competition with horses for grasses, and possible genetic constraints on recruitment resulting from small founder-group size.