At the beginning of the 19th century there were more than 1.5 million bighorn sheep living in North America. Their population has dwindled and, as of 2014, only around 70,000 still exist.
Bighorn sheep live in herds that range from around five to 15 members. Herds often combine forming bands of up to 100 animals. They mate in the fall with the females giving birth to one lamb.
There are several reasons for the decline in the bighorn sheep population. Loss of food from livestock grazing, hunting and habitat destruction have decimated the population and, as the climate continues to become drier and hotter, these animals run the risk of not being able to find adequate water which could result in their numbers becoming even smaller.
Male bighorn sheep are called rams. They weigh between 125 and 316 pounds and stand between 36 and 41 inches at the shoulder. Females are called ewes and weigh between 75 and 188 pounds. Males living in the Rocky Mountains are generally larger and can weigh more than 500 pounds. Males living in all areas have huge, curved horns that sit on top of their heads.Learn more about Mammals