The desert big horn sheep is no longer considered an endangered species.
On Thursday, the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish voted to take the desert bighorn sheep off the state’s threatened and endangered species list.
The bighorn sheep has been considered endangered for more than 30 years.
At one point there were only 50 in the state.
Officials said cougars killing the sheep were a big reason they couldn’t get the numbers back up.
Elise Goldstein is a sheep biologist with Game and Fish and said they plan to continue protecting some sheep in a special sanctuary.
“We plan to continue with the management as is because although there are 625 sheep in the state,” she said. “If we were to simply stop managing them, I think over the next few years you'd start to see the numbers reverse and go down again.”