Feature image el carmen

Bighorn Sheep at El Carmen Natural Reserve
Photo: Santiago Gibert/Dimension Natural

January 7, 2016.

Desert Bighorn Sheep Restoration Program

Desert Bighorn Sheep (Ovis Canadensis) historically occupied many of the rugged desert mountains of North America. The gradual extirpation of the Bighorn Sheep in most of the region was attributed to loss of habitat, transmission of diseases from domestic sheep and goats, and to unregulated hunting.


The return of the desert bighorn sheep to Northeast Mexico became a reality in 2000, with the first transplant of sheep from the state of Sonora to the state of Coahuila. With the purpose of maximizing bighorn reproduction, CEMEX built a large 5,000 hectares breeding reserve at El Carmen.

Currently the reserve has a growing population of bighorns. Since 2009, 100 bighorns have been relocated to free ranging sites in El Carmen, including those included in a wildlife exchange of bighorns for pronghorns in agreement and cooperation with the US State of New Mexico.

The future of Desert Bighorn Sheep depends greatly on the ability of bi-national cooperative efforts. The strategic partnerships that have been formed between CEMEX, private landowners, conservation NGO’s such as Texas Bighorn Society, universities and others are committed to helping ensure a bright future for the desert bighorn sheep to the wild.