Radiotelemetry Collars and Mountain Sheep: a Cautionary Note

Photo by Vern Bleich

Bleich, V. C., J. D. Wehausen, J. A. Keay, J. G. Stahmann, M. W. Berbach. 1990. Radiotelemetry collars and mountain sheep: a cautionary note. Desert Bighorn Council Transactions 34:6-8.

ABSTRACT: We describe several types of injuries associated with loose-fitting telemetry collars in male and female mountain sheep (Ovis Canadensis ssp.), and 1 injury incurred from a male from an overly tight telemetry collar. The potential proximate and ultimate effects of poorly fitting collars include serious injuries to osseous and dermal tissues altered foraging behavior, and decreases in the fitness of otherwise dominant males. Researchers are encouraged to use extreme caution when marking mountain sheep, and other species, with telemetry collars, because of the potential ramifications for the animals and for future research.