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DWR announces first desert bighorn sheep nursery in Utah

A bighorn sheep.
Pete Nuji

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources has teamed up with Young Living, the Provo based essential oils company, to establish a nursery for desert bighorn sheep in Utah. The DWR hopes sheep reared in this nursery will help bolster the population of desert bighorn across the state. The nursery will be located on an 1800 acre private property owned by Young Living in Hanna, UT that can hold up to 150 bighorn sheep. The property is fenced off to keep sheep contained and hunting will not be allowed. The DWR will pull sheep from the nursery to bolster existing populations or to create new populations in the state. Desert bighorn sheep have experienced declines from disease outbreaks caused by wild sheep coming in contact with domestic sheep. There is a Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep nursery on Antelope Island that has been used for population recovery of Rock Mountain bighorns. Currently, there are 1,500 Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep and 2,800 desert bighorn sheep in Utah.

Ellis Juhlin is a science reporter here at Utah Public Radio and a Master's Student at Utah State. She studies Ferruginous Hawk nestlings and the factors that influence their health. She loves our natural world and being part of wildlife research. Now, getting to communicate that kind of research to the UPR listeners through this position makes her love what she does even more. In her free time, you can find her outside on a trail with her partner Matt and her goofy pups Dodger and Finley. They love living in a place where there are year-round adventures to be had!