Texas Bighorn Society
Texas/Mexico Border Desert Bighorn Sheep Initiative
Wildlife movement is not restricted by lines on a map. Many migration studies have shown that Desert Bighorn Sheep (DBS) travel unabated from Texas to Mexico and from Mexico to Texas. Just as DBS know no borders, neither should our conservation practices that strive to protect and propagate them. Both sides of a border, be it interstate or international, must carry out similar conservation practices and share the responsibilities of the shared resource. With this in mind, the Texas/Mexico Border Desert Bighorn Sheep Initiative (the Initiative) was formed in 2022. This Initiative is a formal partnership between the DBS program with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the priority species program (DBS included) with CONANP (Mexico commission of protected areas) along the border of Mexican states Chihuahua and Coahuila. This partnership recognizes the shared responsibility for DBS along the Texas/Mexico border. The Initiative shares in increased communication between agencies to conserve DBS. The goals of the Initiative are to increase the population of healthy DBS. To achieve this goal, the agencies on both sides of the border are cooperating in shared aerial surveys, habitat conservation and protection as well as reducing the risk of disease spread to DBS.
Just as DBS pay no attention to the border, neither do exotic species. Exotics migrate back and forth across the border. One of the goals of the Initiative is to control the invasive exotics like aoudad. The initiative also works with private landowners in Texas to educate and assist in habitat improvement and control the spread of disease to DBS. Similar practices will be supported in Mexico, with private and communal landowners (ejidatarios), where healthier domestic livestock and control of aoudad are key concepts that will be focused on.
Habitat protection and optimization, monitoring and control of disease, aerial surveillance, and education programs are expensive endeavors. The Initiative has also partnered with the Texas Bighorn Society to help promote its cause. You can donate directly to the Initiative on the TBS website. All money raised for the Initiative goes directly to help offset these costs of obtaining the goals of international DBS conservation.