Recently, TPWD also initiated an aoudad disease monitoring and surveillance program to look for pathogens and/or diseases that could potentially be transmitted to desert bighorn sheep. Preliminary results are finding a pathogen in the same group of pathogens that leads to bighorn die-offs in some western states. Therefore, to protect the habitat, as well as the native wildlife populations that inhabit the land, aoudad populations need to be drastically reduced. But recognizing the growing popularity of aoudad hunting, this level of reduction will be difficult to achieve. Aoudad hunting continues to be a supplemental source of income for some landowners, which adds to the challenge. Until the detrimental impacts of high aoudad densities are better understood, it will be difficult to make progress.

Dr Froylan Hernandez Bio