Home range and seasonal movement of Barbary sheep in the Palo Duro Canyon
Hampy, Douglas Brent
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Home range and seasonal movements of Barbary sheep (Ammotragus lervia Pallas) were studied from June, 1976 to April, 1978. The study was conducted in the Dry Creek drainage of Palo Duro Canyon in the Texas Panhandle region, Armstrong County, Texas. Seven telemetry-collared sheep, 4 rams and 3 ewes, provided basic information. Data recorded for each sighting included location, range site, aspect topographic level, and activity. Weather conditions were also recorded at nine weather stations. Marked Barbary sheep showed distinct winter and summer home ranges for both sexes. Recorded winter home range for ewes were larger than for the marked ram; 168 to 249 ha for ewes and 98 ha for the ram. The ram's summer home range was larger than that of the ewes', 1926 ha compared with 882 and 1595 ha, respectively. Home range area was estimated by two methods, the minimum home range method and a topographic home range method. In the latter, home ranges were delineated along contour lines of utilized topographic features. October movements showed a dispersal from the Dry Creek summer home ranges. The greatest distance travelled was recorded for ewes, 12.7 and 14.5 air km from the geometric center of home ranges. The marked ewes returned to Dry Creek and occupied their previous range. One marked ram returned to Dry Creek but only for a short period. The Rough Breaks, one of five SCS range sites, was utilized more by Barbary sheep than other range sites and accounted for 60 percent of all sightings. This site corresponded to the precipitous mid-section of the canyon walls. Barbary sheep favored south and west slopes over north and east slopes. North, east, south, and west aspects were utilized 15, 16, 24,, and 45 percent, respectively. Significant temperature differences were found in aspect-topography analysis during 5 months for maximum temperatures and 2 months for minimum temperatures. No general trend of aspect-topography interaction was indicated by the Duncan's Multiple Range Test, and micro-aspect was apparently unimportant to Barbary sheep in Palo Duro Canyon.