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Peninsular Desert Bighorn Sheep

Desert bighorn sheep inhabit rocky slopes and cliffs, canyons, washes and alluvial fans. Like other bighorn sheep, they prefer rugged and open habitat, and use their climbing abilities, vigilance, and excellent vision to detect and escape from predators. They are generalist herbivores and eat a wide variety of desert plants, including cacti. In summer, the distribution of desert bighorn sheep is often associated with scarce water sources. Female bighorn sheep (ewes) live in groups with their offspring, and have smaller home ranges than males (rams). Males move between female groups, joining them during the fall breeding season. Most lambs are born in spring when desert plant productivity is highest.

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