Once plentiful in the mountains of southern Arizona, by the 1990s desert bighorn sheep were wiped out in the Pusch Ridge Wilderness of the Santa Catalina Mountains as a result of habitat loss and alteration. This book uses their history and population decline as a case study in human alteration of wildlife habitat. When human encroachment had driven the herd to extinction, wildlife managers launched a major and controversial effort to reestablish this population.
For more than forty years Paul R. Krausman directed studies of the Pusch Wilderness population of these iconic animals, located in the mountainous outskirts of Tucson. The story he tells here reveals the complex relationships between politics and biology in wildlife conservation. His account of the evolution of wildlife conservation practices includes discussions of techniques and of human attitudes toward predators, fire, and their management.
"As biologists work to reestablish the desert bighorn sheep in this region, Krausman's book is informative to the public, providing transparency in this recovery effort. . . . Krausman is doing his part to provide research-based knowledge in support of the effort to accommodate this beautiful ungulate in southeastern Arizona."--Wildlife Activist
"Krausman's account is exceptionally thorough, thoughtful, and revealing, giving us an insider's look at the art, science, and politics of wildlife management. . . . [He] has delivered a shining summary of bighorn biology."--The Journal of Arizona History
List of Illustrations
Chapter One. Santa Catalina Mountains Study Area
Chapter Two. Desert Bighorn Sheep: Description, Life History Characteristics, and Taxonomy
Chapter Three. The Desert Bighorn Sheep of the Pusch Ridge Wilderness
Chapter Four. Human Intervention and Management
Chapter Five. The Future of Bighorn Sheep in the Santa Catalina Mountains
Appendix One. The Wilderness Act
Appendix Two. Executive Summary to Accept a Cooperative Agreement between UA and AGFD
Appendix Three. Adaptive Mountain Lion Management Plan