FWP officials say the bighorn sheep herd in Thompson Falls has seen a drop in population. FWP Biologist Bruce Sterling says he counted only 52 sheep during his flight in the spring. On the same flight in 2008, biologists observed 270 sheep.
FWP staff-members say the numbers don?t signify the total sheep in the population, but rather the number observed during the survey.
Sterling says the decline can be attributed partly to vehicle collisions. According to wildlife workers, between 2008 and 2012, 110 sheep were killed by collisions, three of which were hit by trains.
FWP staff will meet with the Montana Department of Transportation on May 10, to discuss the trend and how signs meant to warn drivers to slow down may not be working.