Disease Jumps From Domestic to Wild Sheep

More reporting about the bighorn/domestic sheep disease study

Other than the study itself, this is the first time that I’ve heard Dr. Srikmaran talk about last year’s study which confirms that domestic sheep diseases kill bighorn sheep.

“I am not that happy about this finding. Some people’s livelihood depends on domestic sheep,” [But the] “organisms did not exist anywhere else. They could only come from one place, the domestic sheep.” – Dr. Subramaniam Srikmaran

Some people who support the sheep industry have made misrepresentations of what the study actually says. They say that “these data show that even extended fence line contact of 2 months didn’t lead to disease and death. Disease required co-mingling for a minimum of 48 hours and this was after transmission had already occurred in three of the bighorn sheep.”

I’ve had the chance to read the study and, in fact, it does not say that it took two days of commingling to produce disease. It says that one of the sheep died within two days of the beginning of commingling portion of the experiment. All four of the bighorn sheep, even the one which did not contract M. haemolytica during the fenceline portion of the study died within 9 days of the beginning of the commingling portion of the study. There is no evidence to support the claim that “disease required co-mingling for a minimum of 48 hours”.

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Western Washington’s bighorns slammed by disease

Another 2010-was-a-deadly-year-for-bighorn story-

The culprit is almost entirely pneumonia, and almost all of it, maybe all of it, comes from domestic sheep and goats.  The Western Watersheds Project, and closely related groups like Advocates for the West, are  just about the only organizations that are willing to step forward, tell the truth, and go after the offending herds of livestock.  I hope folks will consider and give WWP and Advocates a donation if the appalling death tool of bighorn sheep in the West bothers you. Ralph Maughan

Western Washington’s bighorns slammed by disease. Outdoors Blog. The Spokesman Review.

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Related Dec. 31. Bighorn sheep killed on Montana highway one. AP (in Great Falls Tribune).  I remember posting an almost identical story for the same place a couple years ago.  Some money needs to be spent at this location.    “a state wildlife biologist says between four to 15 of the animals are killed every year [at this location]*

Montana bighorn just keep dying of pneumonia

Twenty-one more dead bighorn-

Pneumonia persists in Anaconda bighorns. Montana Standard.

Seems to me like Western Watersheds Project is about the only private organization doing anything to stop the spread of this disease that is taking such an awful toll.

Jackson Hole area bighorn sheep herd showing signs of pneumonia

Disease so far seems limited in area-

Jackson bighorn sheep herd showing signs of pneumonia. Pinedale Online. From Wyoming Game and Fish

Pneumonia now killing bighorn in NE Utah too

Montana FWP to let pneumonia take course with Rock Creek bighorn sheep

Culling sick bighorn just too tough in their rugged home-

More bad news about the pneumonia in the big, bighorn population east and southeast of Missoula, MT.

FWP to let pneumonia take course with Rock Creek bighorn sheep
By Rob Chaney
Missoulian |

Posted in Bighorn sheep, wildlife disease. Tags: , . Comments Off on Montana FWP to let pneumonia take course with Rock Creek bighorn sheep

More on the beleaguered bighorn

Four Montana herds, two in Washington plagued by disease-

Here is another update on the pneumonia killing  so many bighorn. The article also gives the total estimated bighorn populations of Idaho, Montana, and Washington.

Hard times hit area bighorns. By Rich Landers. Spokesman-Review.

The Payette National Forest [in Western Idaho] recently released a draft proposal for keeping domestic sheep from intermingling with wild bighorns. The plan was triggered by a lawsuit that charged the forest with failing to adequately protect wild sheep from the risk of contracting pneumonia from domestics.”

This draft is something I’ll put a link to when I find it. Webmaster