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October 2017

Bighorn Sheep Capture

Recently, a number of GPS (Global Positioning System) radio-collars were scheduled to drop off of bighorn sheep in the Peninsular Ranges after collecting location data for the past two years. These collars are being retrieved and the California Department of Fish & Wildlife will capture and collar approximately 40 bighorn in early November. Twenty collars will be placed on ewes in the Institute’s study area from Palm Springs to Palm Desert. This is a much-needed addition of radio-collared sheep, especially in the northern Santa Rosa Mountains (NSRM) near Rancho Mirage and Palm Desert. The Recovery Plan for Peninsular Bighorn recommends having 30% of each ewe group radio-collared and currently, only about 10% were collared in the NSRM and 14% in the San Jacinto Mountains near Palm Springs. With the addition of these collars we’ll still be below the recommendation, but it’s an improvement. Radio-collars allow us to track the bighorn and collect data including: herd demography (number of ewes/rams and age structure), reproduction, lamb recruitment, cause of death, and overall herd health and behavior. We’ll let you know about the capture results next month.


It’s been a tough year for lamb survival throughout the range and there are only a handful of lambs alive in our study areas, which includes three herds. This is always disappointing news to report, but there’s a potential silver lining. Several collared ewes in the northern Santa Rosa Mountains herd look like they’ll give birth again in November. Fall lambs and ewes having more than one lamb in a year is an amazing phenomenon that we’ve only seen one other time. We’ll be tracking these ewes closely and look forward to reporting our findings next month, but you can stay informed by following us on Facebook and Instagram.

Bighorn Class

On October 27th, we taught an Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) class on Bighorn Sheep in the Coachella Valley at the California State University San Bernardino Palm Desert Campus. There were approximately 50 attendees and it was a great education opportunity. If you would you like us to give a bighorn presentation for a group you belong to, please give us a call at (760) 346-7334 or email us at

Member Hike

Our September Member Hike was a great success as we observed 12 bighorn sheep! Pictured to the left are 7 of the 12 sheep observed. Our next Member Hike will be Friday, November 10th at 8:00am. We would love to have you join us, but 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 or email us at

Bighorn Institute Fundraiser

We are just 3 weeks away from our Annual Party & 30th Golf Classic fundraiser, but it’s not too late to sign up! The Annual Party is Sunday, November 19th and Golf Classic is Monday, November 20th, both at Stone Eagle. This year’s event will be better than ever and proceeds benefit Bighorn Institute’s conservation efforts for the endangered Peninsular bighorn sheep. For more information, click on the video, visit our website or call 760-346-7334.

Recent Publicity

On Sunday October 29th, Marker Broadcasting’s KPLM radio station’s Access Show featured the Institute’s work and its upcoming fundraiser. It’s a 30 minute program and will be available on our website soon. On Saturday, November 4th, Françoise Rhodes will interview Institute Board Member, Judy Sanders, on her GOLF is a 4 Letter Word program on radio station KXPS 1010. They will discuss our 2017 Annual Party & 30th Golf Classic and you can listen to Françoise to their interview at 10:30am on AM radio station 1010 or stream the segment live at

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