Dogs threaten bighorn sheep's survival near Tucson

Posted: Updated:
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -- Arizona wildlife officials say dogs could threaten the survival of bighorn sheep residing on the Catalina Mountains.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department says hikers are defying rules that prohibit canines at all times on trails in the area.

Game and Fish spokesman Mark Hart tells the Arizona Daily Star the regulation is difficult to enforce because there aren't enough personnel to patrol the trails.

Anyone cited for having a dog could face a $5,000 fine or up to six months in jail.

Officials say a dog could startle a sheep to leave or impact breeding behavior.

The department released 31 bighorn sheep north of Tucson last November as an effort to rebuild a herd.

Sixteen of the sheep have died, mostly from contact with mountain lions.

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Information from: Arizona Daily Star, http://www.azstarnet.com

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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