Lambing is in full swing in the wild and we have now documented 30 lambs so
far in our study area from Palm Springs to La Quinta. There are still many other ewes that should give birth in the coming weeks so we’re in the field frequently hoping we don’t miss any collared ewes’ lambs. Lambing season extends from January through June for Peninsular bighorn with the peak between February and April. Recent rain has the mountains greening up beautifully now providing amazing vegetation for the sheep. It’s an exciting, but busy season and we look forward to documenting many more lambs this year!
We’re thrilled to announce that our website has been completely redesigned and should make for a much better experience for each visitor! It has in-depth information about bighorn sheep, beautiful bighorn photos, current news and connects easily to our Facebook account. We’ve got some exciting new projects in the works this year, including the iNaturalist citizen science project, and member only hikes so check out our website from time to time as it will be updated frequently.
La Quinta Bighorn Barrier Meeting
On March 10, 2016, at 7:00 pm, there will be a Public Scoping meeting at the La Quinta City Hall Council Chambers to discuss the Bighorn Barrier Project in La Quinta. This project addresses the urban issues bighorn in La Quinta face,
such as utilizing the golf courses as an artificial source of food and water. This meeting is open to the public and is an opportunity for you to ask questions, voice your concerns and comment relative to the bighorn barrier (i.e., fence) project. Bighorn rams have been coming down to the La Quinta golf courses since 2007 and ewes and lambs since 2012. Seven bighorn sheep are known to have died as a direct result of coming down to the La Quinta urban areas since 2012: 4 sheep have drowned in the canal (including 1 lamb), 1 ram ate poisonous oleander, 1 ram was hit and killed by a car on Jefferson, and 1 lamb was deathly ill on the golf course and was euthanized. We feel a fence is necessary to keep bighorn sheep safe and out of the urban areas of La Quinta. For more information about the Bighorn Barrier Project and this meeting, visit http://www.cvmshcp.org.
New Citizen Science Project
Have you seen bighorn sheep here in the valley? If so, we want to know about it! You can be a Citizen Scientist by providing us with your bighorn sightings. This information helps us to keep track of the wild herd since most of them are unmarked. Your sightings will help us determine the population size and demography, where they are, etc. We have started a Bighorn Institute project with iNaturalist and you can easily log your sheep sightings via the iNaturalist app or on iNaturalist.org. Signing up for an account is free or you can log in with an existing Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Google or Yahoo account. For more information, visit our Citizen Science page on our website.
New Member Only Bighorn Hike
On Thursday March 10th at 8:00 am, Bighorn Institute will hold its inaugural Member Only Bighorn Hike! One of Bighorn Institute’s biologists will take you on a local hiking trail in sheep habitat to look for the endangered Peninsular bighorn sheep. You will learn all about the local bighorn and with a bighorn biologist as your guide, hopefully see sheep! Membership starts at just $25/year and is tax-deductible. Space is limited, no dogs, and you must RSVP for this first come first served hike. To sign up or for more information, please call us at 760-346-7334.
Upcoming Presentation: Rancho Mirage Library
On March 31st at 2:00 pm, Bighorn Institute will give a presentation at the Rancho Mirage Public Library titled “Bighorn Sheep in the Coachella Valley and Beyond.” This presentation is open to the public and we hope you will attend.