Desert bighorn sheep are some of the most intriguing mammals of canyon country. They are wary of human contact, and blend so well into the terrain they inhabit, that sightings are a special event.
Once feared of becoming extinct, the desert bighorn are making a tentative comeback in southeast Utah due to a comprehensive reintroduction effort by the National Park Service. With one of the few remaining native herds, Canyonlands has been a vital source of animals for restoration efforts.Desert or Nelson’s bighorn sheep (ovis canadensis nelsoni) are considered by most biologists to be a unique subspecies. Desert bighorns have adapted to hot, dry climates, unlike their Rocky Mountain cousins, and have longer legs, lighter coats and smaller bodies.