Bighorn Sheep Tracking Effort Sets Sights on Future Lambs

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission got up-close and personal with 20 bighorn sheep ewes this week in an effort to track their future offspring. The goal is to get a handle on the species’ population struggles in the Pine Ridge area of northwestern Nebraska.

With the help of a helicopter wildlife capturing crew and others, Commission staff on Tuesday through Thursday, Feb. 14-16, equipped 20 pregnant female sheep with a device to help immediately detect when lambs are born. The Commission has staged numerous bighorn sheep captures in past years involving the installation of telemetry collars, but this is its first bighorn-monitoring project using this type of transmitter.

The vaginal implant transmitter, often referred to by its acronym VIT, is a three-inch long tube de-signed to be inserted behind the fetus in the birthing canal. About the same diameter as a roll of dimes, it has an antenna and features two plastic wings to help it stay in place until a lamb is born.


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