July 2018

Waterhole Count

On July 5th & 6th, Bighorn Institute conducted a waterhole count in the northern Santa


Rosa Mountains (NSRM). Waterhole counts for bighorn sheep are conducted in extreme heat conditions of summer when sheep are reliant on drinking water. Since bighorn sheep can go 3 days without drinking water in over 100 degree temperatures, counts are conducted over a 2-3 day period with the thought that all of the sheep in the area should drink at some point during that time. Bighorn Institute has intensely monitored the NSRM herd since 1982 so waterhole counts haven’t been necessary since we’re in the field daily. This year, we decided to do a sheep count to check our population numbers and engage a few citizen scientists. Count conditions were ideal with a couple of the hottest days so far this summer, 112 and 117 degrees, and we saw 52 bighorn sheep, primarily ewes and lambs. Lamb survival remains high right now, which is an improvement from last year. The count was a great success, we confirmed our population numbers and we appreciate all who participated and braved the heat with us!

More Late Lambs!