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Water for wildlife

New system to help thirsty desert animals

STAFF WRITER

After a new water source is installed Friday at the Sawtooth campground, more species of wildlife, including bighorn sheep, should be able to keep their thirsts quenched in a more sustainable way.

The Raincatcher system by the Society for the Conservation of Bighorn Sheep (SCBS) will replace the older small game guzzler located near Highway 247, approximately 15 miles south of Barstow.

“The small game water source that is there (currently) will only take small mammals and birds,” SCBS Vice President Bob Burke said. “Our system is a full, all-species wildlife water system.”

Annual desert rainfall should be able to keep full the new 2,300 gallon water tank designed to catch rain, Burke said, eliminating the need to replace water, as is the case with the current 650-gallon tank.

“All species of animals will be able to drink there,” he said, “including the bighorn sheep that have been spotted in the area.”

The SCBS currently has two Raincatcher systems near the Marine Corps Logistics Base and will be adding two more near Twentynine Palms in March.

The Bureau of Land Management is assisting with Friday’s effort.

Shea Johnson may be reached at (760) 256-4126 or at SJohnson@DesertDispatch.com.


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