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January 2020

Reminder: Membership Meeting on Feb. 1st

Bighorn Institute’s Annual Membership Meeting will take place Saturday, February 1st from 8:30am – 9:30am at the Institute. We’ll talk about our accomplishments in 2019 and plans for 2020. We will also elect the Institute’s 2020 Board of Directors. All current members are welcome, but please RSVP at 760-346-7334. We hope you can join us!

It’s Not Too Late –Tour de Palm Springs

The 2020 Tour de Palm Springs is right around the corner on Saturday, February 8th. This is a FUN event so come join us and raise money for the sheep and other great charities while you’re at it! You can walk 1 or 3 miles or bike ride 10, 28, 55 or even 102 miles. Register using Bighorn Institute’s charity code bhid20 by January 31st, we get 100% of the proceeds! Register after January 31st and we still get 50% of the proceeds. Come on out! You get a t-shirt, magnet, wristband, you’ll be greeted by cheerleaders and marching bands, there are snacks for the walk and rides, and MORE! Registration starts at $20; for more information, call us at 760-346-7334 or email us at

Local Population Update

It was an interesting 2019, to say the least. We saw double-lambing (ewes give birth in spring and fall) in two of our three study herds. We documented another set of twins-our second confirmed set in the wild. A number of lambs throughout the range showed signs of what appeared to be contagious ecthyma with sores on their mouth. There was no spring lamb survival in the San Jacinto’s, but higher than average lamb survival in the other two herds we monitor. Fall lambs are running around the hills of Palm Springs and Rancho Mirage and spring 2019 lambs are now considered yearlings as of January 1st. The new population numbers are as follows: approximately 75 adult bighorn in the San Jacinto’s near Palm Springs, approximately 90 adult bighorn in the northern Santa Rosa’s near Rancho Mirage, and around 120 adult bighorn in the central Santa Rosa’s near La Quinta. The San Jacinto population is down slightly, but the northern Santa Rosa’s are up considerably. We’re anxious to see what 2020 has in store for these bighorn herds!

Spring Lambs are Here!

The 2020 lambs have arrived in all three of our study herds from Palm Springs to La Quinta and more ewes could give birth any day! Lambing season usually extends from January to June for Peninsular bighorn sheep with most lambs born between February and April. We’re still following fall lambs born in 2019 and now will be searching for new spring lambs. In addition, we’re looking for lambs showing signs of illness, such as signs of possible contagious ecthyma, also known as sore mouth. So, if you see any sheep with sores on their mouth or other signs of illness, such as excessive coughing, please let us know; pictures are helpful. You can call 760-346-7334 or email to report your sightings. Thanks for your help!

Member Hike

We had another successful member hike this month and saw 20 sheep! Our next hike will be Friday, February 7th 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

Community Outreach

In early January, we gave a bighorn presentation to the Palm Springs Pathfinders at Bighorn Golf Club. We always appreciate an opportunity to spread the word about the sheep and our work. If you would like us to give a bighorn presentation to your group, please give us a call at 760-346-7334 or email us at

Upcoming Events

  1. Lake Cahuilla Fishing Clinic February 22nd– fun, free, family event and we may see sheep!

  2. Wildflower Festival March 7th – come visit our booth!

  3. Rancho Mirage Library Talk March 26th – learn about our local Peninsular bighorn sheep

  4. 3rd Annual Spring Fling April 9th – fabulous fundraiser at Stone Eagle!

Wish List

Field receiver - $1,000 – allows us to track the radio-collared bighorn sheep

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