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May 2017


May proved an exciting month with the addition of a couple of newborn lambs as lambing season extends through June. Since several of the lambs in the mountains near Rancho Mirage and La Quinta have already died, new additions are welcome. Summer is starting and it’s the toughest time in a lamb’s life. We’ll continue to follow these and the rest of the lambs in our study area and hope for the best.

SilverRock Fence Update

So far, the bighorn exclusion fence at SilverRock has mostly kept bighorn off of their golf course, however, there have been a few incidents in which sheep found their way to SilverRock likely from PGA West. Luckily, those sheep got out the way they came, but there needs to be additional fencing between the two golf courses to prevent the bighorn from accessing SilverRock. We’re hoping the wildlife agencies will remedy this situation soon. (Pictured: SilverRock fence blending in with the base of the mountains)

Disease Study

UC Davis will lead the charge on a disease study on bighorn sheep in La Quinta with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and Coachella Valley Conservation Commission. CDFW has asked the Institute to collaborate on this project since we’ve been testing for disease since our inception in 1982 and have the disease results for a historic study of bighorn in the northern Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains. The Institute has published several papers in the past about disease, especially regarding sheep in the Rancho Mirage area. We’re pleased to cooperate on this worthy investigation. (Pictured: Sick lamb with droopy ears, rough coat, nasal discharge and thin)

Bighorn Presentation

In early May, we gave a presentation to a local PEO (Philanthropic Education Organization) group on bighorn sheep in the Coachella Valley. As usual, this was a great opportunity for us to educate others about the endangered Peninsular bighorn sheep and the Institute’s conservation efforts. Would you like us to give a bighorn presentation to your group? Please give us a call at (760) 346-7334 or email us at

Lend Your Support!

Did you know that Bighorn Institute operates almost entirely on private funds and receives no funding from state or federal wildlife agencies? We have a contract with the City of Rancho Mirage, but other than that, all of our funding comes from grants and the generosity of our membership. We need your help! While we enjoy keeping people informed about the sheep through this free update, we could really use your financial support. Please consider becoming a member. It’s tax-deductible and will help us care for the captive herd of bighorn, track wild sheep, provide education and outreach (including these monthly updates), publish our research and much more! Your membership includes our in-depth printed newsletter, The Bighorn. It’s easy to join, just visit our website Together, we can make a difference!

Save the Date!

The 2017 Annual Party and Golf Classic fundraiser will take place November 19 & 20 at Stone Eagle! The Annual Party will be held at The Aerie restaurant with gorgeous views of the valley and will include a decadent dinner along with a live and silent auction. The 30th Annual Golf Classic at Stone Eagle will be hosted by golf legend and putting guru, Dave Stockton, and is sure to hold a few fun surprises as we celebrate this amazing milestone tournament. You don’t want to miss this event so mark your calendars and look for invitations in the fall!

Adopt a Bighorn

Need a unique gift idea? You can support Bighorn Institute by adopting a bighorn in your friend or loved one's name! The recipient will receive an adoption certificate and a 4x6 photo of their adopted ewe, ram or lamb as well as a bighorn fact sheet. Ewe and ram adoptions are $150 each and a lamb adoption is $100; adoptions are completely tax-deductible! Funds go toward the care of the captive herd.

Click on the lamb picture for an adoption form.

Recent Sheep News:

UC Davis will study La Quinta bighorns after sheep began dying of respiratory disease:

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