October 2016

Ram Movements

During the rut, or breeding season, rams will travel miles in search of ewes to breed. They can lose as much as 25% of their body weight with this increased activity. Most of the rams are unmarked, but many have distinguishable horn characteristics allowing us to tell the difference between individuals. We documented an interesting ram movement this October. A ram known to inhabit Bear Creek Canyon in the La Quinta area was observed as far north as Magnesia Canyon around Rancho Mirage this year. That’s approximately 9 miles, as the crow flies and involves crossing Hwy 74! This kind of ram movement is important to keep gene flow moving and the bighorn population healthy.

Helicopter Survey