WASHINGTON (CN) – The Peninsular big horn sheep of Southern California will have 450,000 fewer acres in its designated habitat as of May 15. This is half of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s original 2001 designation.
According to the service, the reduction will not hurt the sheep because the Distinct Population Segment of sheep most affected by the reduction tends not to interbreed with other population segments and thus, so-called “connectivity corridors” -slivers of land connecting the ranges of population segments together- are not necessary for the survival of the subgroup.
In addition to elimination of most of the connectivity corridors, the service removed thousands of acres of habitat owned by the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians saying exclusion of the land was in the best interests of cooperation between the agency and the tribe.