Demography and movements of montain sheep (Ovis canadensis nelsoni) in the Kingston and Clark Mountain ranges, California

Jef Ronald Jaeger, University of Nevada, Las Vegas


This thesis consists of three separate chapters each in manuscript form. The first chapter presents an investigation of the accuracy of Loran-C for determining geographic positions during aerial telemetry studies in the eastern Mojave Desert, and concludes that for this purpose, Loran-C has a limited utility. The second chapter defines the demography of mountain sheep (Ovis canadensis) populations in the area of the Kingston and Clark Mountain ranges in the eastern Mojave Desert, including: distribution, mark-recapture estimates, survival rates and recruitment rates. The third chapter describes seasonal intermountain migration of mountain sheep ewes in the Kingston and Clark mountain ranges and investigates potential causes of these movements. Seasonal movements to hot season ranges were influenced by water requirements, forage quality, or both, and may have increased predation risk due to a decrease in the visual openness of habitat. Movements after the hot season may have been influenced by predator avoidance.