YWSF members have enabled our project committee to partner with Yukon Environment and the Animal Health Unit on our first wild sheep health project. This upcoming project consists of the analysis of Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae (M-ovi) testing and disease data and it's relevance to thinhorn sheep populations in Yukon. We have committed over $4,000 for this work which is set to commence June, 2018. The main objectives of this project are to,
1. Review M-ovi sampling data collected between 2015-2017
a. Map existing sample locations and link to information on sheep populations in Yukon.
b. Identify areas where further sampling is desired.
2. Increase sample collection from areas of interest in the Territory.
a. Estimate sample size targets to be reached over the next 5 years based on sheep population estimates in outfitter concessions and game management zones.
b. Identify outfitter concessions where additional sampling is desired, and solicit their participation in sample collection activities.
3. YWSF to additionally provide some incentives for hunters that submit completed sample collection kits. Items TBD
Deliverables to the Wild Sheep Foundation:
Map of current and desired M-ovi sampling locations across Yukon Territory, report on increased outreach activities between AHU and outfitters and a summary report of project activites.
Gained Professional Experience:
This project will provide a valuable experience in formulating research questions, gathering background through a Yukon-raised veterinary student who has demonstrated interest in wildlife health, conservation and research.
Gain for public:
Improved information on the status of M-ovi sampling of wild thinhorn sheep in Yukon and support for more testing at targeted regions in the Territory.