Meetings Planned On Desert Bighorn Sheep Proposal

New Mexico – SANTA FE, N.M. (KRWG) The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish has scheduled two public meetings in southern New Mexico to discuss a recommendation to delist desert bighorn sheep from the state's threatened and endangered species list.

The meetings will be the evening of Sept. 6 in Deming and Truth or Consequences.

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

Through management efforts including releases, selective predator control and support from numerous wildlife conservation groups, the population estimate is now 645.

Officials say that far exceeds the delisting criteria under the state Wildlife Conservation Act.

The state Game Commission will have to make a final decision on the recommendation to delist the sheep.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. KRWG