Alyson Courtemanch, currently the Jackson Region Wildlife Biologist for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, successfully defended her MS work focusing on a formerly migratory bighorn sheep herd.
“This study investigated how a formerly migratory bighorn sheep herd in the Teton Range in northwest Wyoming has altered its foraging strategies to cope with migration loss. Results suggest that Teton sheep use new winter habitats on high elevation, wind-swept ridges and slopes and developed unique elevational movements to track vegetation green-up within their one seasonal range. Additionally, we found that disturbance from backcountry skiing reduces winter habitat availability and increases sheep movement rates. Our findings provide insight into how ungulate populations may be able to persist after migration loss.”
Congratulations to Aly and check back for a final project report/thesis in the near future!