Wild Population Update
In January, bighorn are aged one year older so lambs are now considered yearlings and are included in the adult population estimate. Adult mortalities were low in both herds in 2015, but lamb recruitment differed between the northern Santa Rosa's and San Jacinto's with the San Jacinto herd having better lamb recruitment and an increase in numbers. The northern Santa Rosa Mountains herd near Rancho Mirage remains stable at approximately 80 adult bighorn and the San Jacinto Mountains herd near Palm Springs has increased and there are now 50 adult bighorn there. We look forward to seeing what 2016 brings for these bighorn herds.
The 2016 lambs are here! We have documented 6 lambs so far, 4 in the San Jacinto Mountains near Palm Springs and 2 in the central Santa Rosa Mountains near La Quinta and many other ewes should give birth in the coming weeks. Lambing season extends from January to June for Peninsular bighorn with most lambs born between February and April. We're in full-gear with our fieldwork as we intensely monitor the ewes so we don't miss documenting any lambs that are born and perish shortly thereafter. We are optimistic for a successful lambing season this year!
Annual Membership Meeting
Bighorn Institute's Annual Membership Meeting was held January 8th at the Institute. We discussed our accomplishments in 2015, plans for 2016, and elected the Board of Directors. We would like to welcome new Board Member, Meg Marker! We are happy to have Meg on our team as she will be a wonderful asset to our conservation work.
We want to thank everyone that was able to join us. Our members are the reason we are able to continue our much-needed conservation efforts for the endangered Peninsular bighorn sheep. Are you a member? The sheep need your help and membership starts at just $25/year. Thank you!
In early January, Bighorn Institute gave a presentation to the Garden Club of the Desert about the local bighorn and the Institute's conservation efforts. We try to get out into the community to educate folks about this valley icon as often as possible. Education is an important part of our mission so give us a call if you would like to have one of our biologists come and speak at your next group meeting 760-346-7334.
New Promo Video
Bighorn Institute has a new promo video! It's on our Facebook page and we hope that you will share it with all of your friends to help us spread the word about the sheep and the Institute's conservation efforts.