NM commission to consider delisting desert bighorn

November 1, 2011 • State News

FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Game Commission will decide this week whether to remove desert bighorn sheep from the state’s list of threatened and endangered species.

The commission will meet Thursday in Farmington.

The [auth] agenda also includes proposals to set hunting application and draw dates for animals including oryx, turkey, deer, bear and bighorn sheep.

Desert bighorn sheep were listed as a state endangered species in 1980 when the population was estimated at fewer than 70.

Through releases, predator control and support from wildlife conservation groups, the Game and Fish Department says the population is now estimated at 645. That far exceeds the delisting criteria under the state Wildlife Conservation Act.

Just last weekend, the department captured 16 ewes from the Fra Cristobal Mountains and relocated them to bolster populations elsewhere in the state.

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