Bighorn Institute’s Annual Membership Meeting was held February 2nd at the Institute. We talked about our accomplishments in 2018, plans for 2019 and elected the Board of Directors. We want to welcome new board member, Randy Bynder, and thank everyone that was able to join us!
Silverfish Press has just released a book on Bighorn Institute’s 37-year history in working with Peninsular bighorn sheep in the Coachella Valley. Titled SHEEP ON THE BRINK, the book provides an engaging look at the factors that put this iconic animal on the federal Endangered Species list in 1998. Today the numbers are somewhat higher but sheep remain imperiled. Filled with unusual facts and heretofore unpublished imagery, SHEEP ON THE BRINK makes for a good read for anyone interested in this remarkable animal. All proceeds benefit the Institute. Contact 760-346-7334 to pick up your copy for $20.
Outreach & Education
The Institute had a couple of great opportunities this month for some bighorn education! We gave a presentation for the Desert Radio Club on bighorn sheep in the Coachella Valley. On February 23rd, Lake Cahuilla hosted their 3rd annual youth fishing clinic and we had an information booth to educate the kids about the bighorn sheep. This was a fun event for us and the kids, plus, we saw sheep and a bald eagle! Pictured to the right is Buddy with volunteers Marcie and Anne.
Tour de Palm Springs & BI
The Tour de Palm Springs took place February 9th and Bighorn Institute was one of the charities for which this event raised funds. We would like to thank all of the walkers/bike riders that participated on our behalf and those who purchased raffle tickets. We appreciate your support!
We received over 3 ½” of rainfall at the Institute in February, 3” came on Valentine’s Day alone. The Coachella Valley had the third highest rainfall in a 24 hour period in 76 years. This is the most rain we personally have recorded within a month in over 20 years at the Institute. The Valley sustained significant damage, but fortunately, our property did not and the rain will bear much fruit! Spring wildflowers are in bloom so it’s a great time to go for a hike! Pictured to the right is a brittlebush.
This month, we hiked out of Lake Cahuilla and saw sheep! Our next Member Hike will be on Monday, March 11th 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.
It’s been a busy month for fieldwork with lots of new lambs on the ground. There are now at least 18 lambs in the northern Santa Rosa Mountains near Rancho Mirage/Palm Desert, 13 lambs in the central Santa Rosa Mountains of La Quinta and 4 lambs in the San Jacinto Mountains (SJM) near Palm Springs. There are still many more pregnant ewes and lambing season extends through June so we’ll be looking for new little ones in the coming months.
While lambing has certainly been exciting, we’ve had a couple of radio-collared ewes in the SJM killed by mountain lion predation within a one-week period this month. It’s normal to have predation loss in a healthy herd and the population numbers are at a level where we don’t need to panic. That said, we’ll keep monitoring the 3 local herds closely and hope this cat has moved back to its normal, more plentiful prey, deer. Pictured to the right are 2 ewes and 5 lambs- babysitting.
Spring Fling April 4th
The Spring Fling fundraiser is a not-to-be-missed event at the ultra-exclusive Stone Eagle in Palm Desert. Join us Thursday, April 4th from 5-7pm for amazing views, delicious food and drinks, a silent auction, and more! Plus, we’ll have a putting contest with great prizes! Tickets are $150/person, $250/couple. For more information or to buy tickets, visit our website www.bighorninstitute.org/fundraisers or give us a call at 760-346-7334.