In 2015/2016, Synergy Applied Ecology supported development of a collaborative research project on psoroptic mange in BC bighorn sheep. The goal was to minimize transmission of psoroptic mange among wild sheep, and support informed management of infected South Okanagan bighorn sheep herds.
Initial work assessed the risk of Psoroptes transmission among South Okanagan Similkameen (SOKS) bighorn sheep herds; the prevalence of disease within and among herds; annual lamb recruitment; and cause-
Psoroptic mange is a skin disease caused by the ectoparasitic mite Psoroptes ovis. These mites live on the skin, causing irritation and lesions that can have serious consequences for infected sheep.
Read the review of Psoroptic Mange Occurrence, Risk, and Management Options
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Letters of Support
The South Okanagan Similkameen Bighorn Sheep Psoroptes Monitoring Project was established by Aaron Reid and Andrew Walker, BC Ministry Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, with support from Synergy Applied Ecology (SAE) in 2015/2016.
Project Leads (2015/2016)
- Pamela Hengeveld, RPBio, Synergy Applied Ecology
- Clint Cubberley, RPBio, Synergy Applied Ecology
- Aaron Reid, RPBio, BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources
- Andrew Walker, RPBio, BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources
- Craig McLean, Wildlife Biologist, BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources
- Dr. Helen Schwantje, Wildlife Veterinarian, BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources
- Dr. Adam Hering, Wildlife Veterinarian, PhD candidate
- Lower Similkameen Indian Band
- Upper Similkameen Indian Band
- Penticton Indian Band
- Osoyoos Indian Band
- Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
- BC Parks
- The Nature Trust
- Wild Sheep Society
- Keremeos Cawston Sportsmen’s Association
- Ashnola Guide Outfitter, Darrell Schneider
We gratefully acknowledge financial support from:
Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation proposal for 2015-2016, submitted November 2014
Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation response, received March 6 2015
Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation response to funding conditions, submitted March 20 2015
Confirmation of HCTF funding received April 23 2015
Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation proposal for 2016-2017, submitted November 2015
Habitat Stewardship Program Funding Proposal for 2016-2017, submitted January 2016
In the News
Bighorn sheep in Similkameen threatened by mites. Daybreak South, CBC radio interview with Brian Harris. January 29 2015
Devastating disease put South Okanagan-Similkameen Bighorn sheep at risk. Mark Brett, Penticton Western News. January 29 2015
Mites infest Ashnola-Similkameen sheep population. Angela Jung, Global News, South Okanagan. January 26 2015
Southern B.C.’s bighorn sheep at risk from disease: B.C. government concerned that stress caused by helicopter flights is adding to ‘highly contagious disease, new to Canada’. Larry Pynn, Vancouver Sun. January 23 2015.
Reid, A. 2013. Ashnola/Similkameen bighorn inventory, March 2013. BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, Penticton BC.
Reid, A. 2013. South Okanagan bighorn inventory, March 2013. BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, Penticton BC.
Reid, A. 2012. Ashnola/Similkameen bighorn inventory March 2012. Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, Penticton, BC
Reid, A. 2012. Okanagan Mountain Park Bighorn Transplant Monitoring. Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, Penticton, BC
Harper, W. L., H. M. Schwantje, et al. (2002). Recovery Plan for California Bighorn Sheep in the South Okanagan Valley, British Columbia. Victoria, BC, BC Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection.
BC BIGHORN SHEEP STATUS REPORTS
Kuzyk, G., Et al. 2012. Population and harvest trends of mountain sheep and mountain goats in British Columbia. Proceedings of the 18th Northern Wild Sheep and Goat Symposium, Kamloops BC.
Demarchi, R. A., C. L. Hartwig, et al. (2000). Status of the California bighorn sheep in British Columbia. Victoria, Canada, British Columbia Ministry of Environment Lands and Parks.
Boyce, W.M. and M.E. Weisenberger. 2005. The rise and fall of psoroptic scabies in bighorn sheep in the San Andres Mountains, New Mexico. Journal of Wildlife Disease 41(3):525-531.
Foreyt, W.J., V. Coggins, P. Fowler. 1990. Psoroptic scabies in bighorn sheep in Washington and Oregon. Bienn. Sym. North. Wild Sheep and Goat Counc. 7:135-142.
Norrix, L.W, D.W. DeYound, P.R. Krausman, R.C. Etchberger, and T.J. Giattke. 1995. Conductive hearing loss in bighorn sheep. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 31(2): 223-227.