Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep In Sequoia Kings Canyon - Mount Williamson

Mount Williamson herd movement data


Recent Events

  • 10/31/2023 We captured 2 females and 1 male from this herd and fitted them with GPS collars.
  • 2/23/2023 4 bighorn have been killed by lion predation since January, and as many as 6 others may have died due to heavy snows this winter.
  • 7/1/2022 Biologists were able to get a good count of this herd, with a total of 47 animals including 10 lambs. This herd is difficult to survey and good population counts are rare.
  • 10/23/2020 Two females and one male were collared during the fall capture. This was a big win for CDFW, as little is known about the current Williamson herd population.
  • 4/16/2020 Found a group of 7 and a group of 4 that included ewe S166 who hadn’t been seen since October 2014. We had believed she was dead prior to this observation.
  • 2/12/2019 A collared ram was seen with 2 other rams by staff on winter range close to the valley floor.
  • 6/3/2018 8 sheep were seen on the north side of George Creek, a common place to find sheep in the summer.
  • 11/30/2017 A yearling ram from the Mt. Baxter herd moved to George Creek in the the Williamson herd, changing herds which is uncommon.
  • 9/30/2016 10 Sierra bighorn were spotted at the mouth of George Creek, a common place for Sierra bighorn during the winter.
Resting after a hard day surveying
Resting after a hard day surveying
Aerial view of Mount Williamson from the north.
Aerial view of Mount Williamson from the north

Mt. Williamson is one of the original native Sierra bighorn herds, but has remained small in numbers since it was first studied. In approximately 30 years of study, this herd appeared to hold steady at under 20 animals total in population. However, in 2021 several lucky observations of this elusive herd brought the population total up to 41 animals.

The Recovery Program began collaring animals at Mt. Williamson in 2008. In 2009, at least 1 bighorn ewe travelled here from Mount Baxter and took up residence in the George Creek area. Other ewes have traveled between these herd units, but it is not clear if they immigrated or were just visiting.