Bighorn sheep standing in Yellowstone National Park

Bighorn sheep

Bighorn sheep are all about those famous massive spiralled horns. In the males, they are particularly heavy and can reach over a metre in length. They are the primary weapon during some spectacular clashes over the females and horn size dictates position in the herd. Bighorn sheep are found on the grassy alpine meadows and foothills of some of America's greatest mountain ranges. They're never far from the safety of some rocky cliffs and buffs where agile leaping and bounding between impossibly narrow ledges lets them escape potential predators with ease.

Scientific name: Ovis canadensis

Rank: Species

Common names:

  • American bighorn sheep,
  • Mountain sheep

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Map showing the distribution of the Bighorn sheep taxa

Species range provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

The Bighorn sheep can be found in a number of locations including: North America. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Bighorn sheep distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status

Least Concern

  1. EX - Extinct
  2. EW
  3. CR - Threatened
  4. EN - Threatened
  5. VU - Threatened
  6. NT
  7. LC - Least concern

Population trend: Stable

Year assessed: 2008

Classified by: IUCN 3.1