We’re getting excited for our 2018 Annual Party & Golf Classic November 18th & 19th! Our event takes place at the amazing Stone Eagle and there are many ways to get involved and help support the sheep. If you don’t golf, join us for the Annual Party or if you like the links, enjoy the party and golf! Dave Stockton and fellow pros provide a clinic following play and you’re sure to improve your golf game. Can’t come? You can still be an event sponsor! We have sponsor levels of silver, gold and platinum, but in reality, any donation is helpful since we are privately funded! If these options don’t suit you, maybe you’d like to provide us with an auction item. We sincerely appreciate your support because YOU make a difference! All event proceeds go toward our conservation efforts for the endangered Peninsular bighorn! For more information, click the link, call the office at 760-346-7334 or email us at email@example.com.
Member Hikes Are Back!
It’s been a long, hot summer, but our member hiking hiatus is over so come look for sheep with us! Our first Member Hike of the season will be Friday, October 12th 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Trails Open October 1st
September 30th marks the end of the hot season trail closures so the few trails that were closed will now be open through December, including Dead Indian Canyon, and Carrizo and Magnesia Ecological Reserves. The fall is a great time to get out and explore our beautiful desert; if you’re lucky, you might see a bighorn sheep. They blend in incredibly well, so look for their white rump patch or movement among the rocks. They have eyesight equivalent to 8-10x binoculars so they usually see you before you see them, IF you see them! If you do see sheep, please help us out and log your sightings in Bighorn Institute’s project in iNaturalist (it’s free!). It helps us keep track of the herd and lets others know where the sheep are! Click on the flyer for details.
Bighorn sheep horns have a bony core underneath a keratin horn sheath. Horns are mostly hollow away from the base of the skull, which is why it doesn’t hurt the sheep to have the tip broken off as they often do during head-butting battles. That said, it’s not normal for a healthy, young bighorn sheep to lose an entire horn and when they do, it can be caused by chronic sinusitis. Sinusitis is often caused by a bacterial infection and/or nasal tumors and sometimes originates from a bot fly depositing larvae in the sheep’s nasal passage. We have seen a few sheep in our study area lose a horn from apparent sinusitis, but these are also old animals. We had an interesting field observation this month of a 14 year old ewe with a broken horn that was still attached. She will eventually lose her horn, if she hasn’t already, but will continue to thrive in its absence.
Ram Drowns in Canal
We hate being the bearers of bad news, but another bighorn sheep has drowned in the Coachella Canal, this one ended up at Lake Cahuilla. This is the 7th bighorn sheep since 2012 to drown in this canal, which goes along the golf courses in La Quinta. When the rams are rutting they can get too close to the canal and fall in or get bumped and this may have been the case with this ram. Unfortunately, this was another preventable death, had a fence been up to keep the sheep off of the golf courses. We’re still waiting for the release of the final Environmental Impact Report, which will determine the logistics of the fence.
New Event: Bonfire with the Bighorn
We’ve got a fun new event this season! Grab your favorite camp chair and come out Friday, October 26th from 6-7:30pm for an evening under the stars enjoying campfire stories, hot dogs and s’mores! This is an exclusive opportunity to join us on our private property to forge friendships, tell your favorite bighorn sighting story or just chat with us. We'll have water and soft drinks, hot dogs and s'mores, a drawing for a gift giveaway and more! Space is limited, you must RSVP and the cost is $25 per person. To save your spot, call 760-346-7334.
Coachella Valley bighorn sheep population heads into fall in good shape