14 Bighorn Released, Dark Skies in Oracle State Park

Jack Hanna helps release 14 bighorns into Catalinas – Douglas Kreutz – Arizona Daily Star, Fourteen bighorn captured for release into Santa Catalinas Thursday – JD Wallace – Tucson News Now, Bighorn Sheep Release in Santa Catalinas Closed to Public – Maria Inés Taracena – Arizona Public Media: On Thursday AM – in a release closed to the public – 14 additional Bighorn Sheep (11 ewes and 3 rams) were released into the Santa Catalina Mountains. The release took place in a residential area that offers access into the areas on Pusch Ridge that the Bighorn remaining from the first release have been using. The release was closed because of “public safety concerns and animal welfare concerns”… Best of luck to the new Bighorn Sheep! (The Friends of Santa Catalina Bighorn Sheep Facebook Page is currently a good resource for capture and release videos and pictures.)

Oracle State Park gains international dark sky status – Yoohyun Jung – Arizona Daily Star: Oracle State Park is the first state park in Arizona to be recognized as an international dark sky park by the International Dark-Sky Association, – the park received Silver Status which means that there are “minor impacts from light pollution and other artificial light disturbance”. The park is normally limited to day use – look for Stargazing and Dark Sky Celebration events in January and March on the Friends of Oracle State Park and Oracle State Park websites.

The Bighorn Sheep Restoration Project Status update for 10/27 to 11/12 is now available (all updates are currently available here). The most interesting part of this status update is a small change to the reporting on the lambs where the document simply says “No lambs were observed during this reporting period” – I believe some previous status updates may have simply reported the number of lambs previously observed when there was no reason to suspect any moralities.

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