Pizza Party April 12th
This is not an ordinary pizza party! This Pizza, Sheep & Shoot-out-oh my! fundraiser is a not-to-be-missed event at the ultra-exclusive Stone Eagle in Palm Desert. Join us Thursday, April 12th from 5-7pm for wood-fired pizza, hors d’oeuvres, drinks, and more! Enjoy amazing views, great raffles and a chance to win $10,000 with a hole-in-one! For more information or to buy tickets, visit our website www.bighorninstitute.org or give us a call at 760-346-7334.
We’ve been busy counting sheep in March with the addition of lots of lambs in the wild since our last update! There are now at least 12 lambs in the San Jacinto Mountains near Palm Springs, 21 lambs in the northern Santa Rosa Mountains near Rancho Mirage/Palm Desert and 35 lambs in the central Santa Rosa Mountains near La Quinta. Lambing season isn’t over so we’ll see what we find in the coming months!
In addition to the lambs listed above, there are also 9 late fall lambs still alive in the northern Santa Rosa Mountains, which is exciting. In 2017, we documented two distinct lambing seasons, spring and fall, and these fall lambs are now 4-5 months old and thriving. This rare phenomenon is fun to follow so we’ll keep you informed!
Please Don’t Feed the Sheep
We’ve had a number of reports of people feeding the sheep citrus and other fruit on the golf courses in La Quinta and this is not only dangerous to you, but it’s illegal to feed a federally endangered species. Wildlife is best kept wild and feeding the sheep habituates them to humans, which isn’t in their best interest and can make them act aggressively. Peninsular bighorn sheep are adapted to live in our harsh desert and while the mountains may not look like they have enough food for them, they do. We appreciate your concern, but please don’t feed the sheep.
The Wildflower Festival took place the first weekend in March and was a great time to share information about the bighorn with the public and listen to excited visitors relay stories of seeing sheep. We have a couple of bighorn sheep presentations coming up in April that are open to the public. On April 6th at 11:00am, we’re giving a presentation at The Living Desert as part of their Spring Speaker Series. On April 10th at 2:00pm, we’re speaking at the Rancho Mirage Library and all are welcome. Hope to see you there!
We had a great group of college students from the UCLA Alternative Breaks club spend a morning of their spring break with us cleaning out a bighorn sheep water source. Since the sheep aren’t yet reliant on drinking water (they can go months in the winter without drinking), we took the opportunity to remove invasive vegetation from a man-made water source near Rancho Mirage. Overgrown vegetation can provide an ambush site for predators. This water source is now ready for bighorn use, which may be any day since we’re already hitting 90 degrees in March! Thanks to our amazing volunteers for their time and hard work!
Member Hike Hiatus
We’ve had a great season of Member Hikes and were most successful in seeing sheep and forming friendships! With the weather warming up, we will go on a summer hiatus for our Member Hikes until the fall. Keep an eye on our monthly updates for more information!