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April 2022

Spring Fling Fundraiser

Bighorn Institute’s Spring Fling was held on April 28th at the exclusive Stone Eagle Golf Club and was a great success! The weather was wonderful, albeit a little windy, and the views were unbeatable. Everyone enjoyed a delicious dinner, silent auction, a putting contest and a surprise live auction with special Stone Eagle packages. Thanks to all who joined us and made it a memorable evening! And a special thank you to our sponsors and donors! (Pictured: BI board member, Judy Sanders, center, with friends)

Lamb Update

Overall, lambing season has been going well. We had a few more lambs born in the La Quinta and Rancho Mirage herds this month. There are a number of sick lambs, particularly ones that frequent the golf courses in La Quinta. Hopefully, they will pull through, although several have already perished. Most of the lambs in the Palm Springs and Rancho Mirage herds are still alive and looking good. Lambing season extends until June so we are still out in the field daily looking for any new lambs since most of the ewes are unmarked and unable to be tracked. We’ll keep you posted!

Two Bighorn Hit on Hwy 74

Two bighorn sheep were hit and killed by vehicles on Hwy 74 this month and we had a

third report of a sheep hit, but it may have survived. We have documented a number of bighorn sheep crossing this highway so far this year which adds to the danger of this road. The sheep are active during the day and may cross the road at any time. Please be on the lookout for bighorn and drive carefully while driving this treacherous road. (Pictured: Bighorn sheep browse near Hwy 74)

More La Quinta Urban Bighorn Deaths

In early April, a lamb was found deceased near the canal at PGA West and in late April, a yearling ram drowned in the canal. There have now been three urban-related bighorn deaths in La Quinta already this year. Bighorn sheep in the central Santa Rosa Mountain herd in La Quinta have been utilizing four golf courses as an artificial food and water source: Tradition, SilverRock, PGA West, and The Quarry, as well as Lake Cahuilla. Since 2012, there have been 40 urban-related bighorn deaths in La Quinta. Sadly, many of these deaths could have been prevented by the long-overdue fence, which will keep the sheep out of the urban area. We will keep you posted on any updates related to the La Quinta fence and we will continue to hope that construction will move forward sooner than later. (Pictured: a sick lamb walks in the urban area)

Field Vehicle

We’re still very much in need of a field vehicle, particularly to access 4-wheel drive areas of the range. We’re unable to track the sheep as efficiently in these areas right now. Our field Jeep was destroyed in late August of last year in a fire and our field vehicles are what allow us to go out into the field and conduct our work. Despite our insurance company paying the settlement, we are still shy about $20k for a “new” Jeep. If you or someone you know would like to donate to our Jeep fund or have a vehicle you’d consider donating, it would be immensely appreciated. Your donation would be completely tax-deductible. Thank you, for your consideration and if you have a vehicle to donate, please call us at 760-346-7334 or email us at (Pictured: field Jeep that burned in August 2021)

Snakes Are Out

It’s getting warmer so the snakes are out more regularly now so remember to watch for them while hiking. Rattlesnakes are not aggressive and will not chase you, but may strike if startled so you want to be aware of your surroundings. (Pictured: a Western Speckled Rattlesnake (Crotalus mitchellii pyrrhus) at the Institute)

Citizen Science

Are you out hiking and seeing sheep? You can assist us in our work by logging your sheep sightings for free in Bighorn Institute’s iNaturalist project accessible via phone or computer. Your sightings can help us keep track of the local, endangered Peninsular bighorn sheep and let other hikers know where they might see sheep. Pictures are particularly helpful so if you see sheep, snap some photos and let us know! For instructions on using iNaturalist app, visit our website:

Ways You Can Help

There are plenty of easy and rewarding ways of helping out Bighorn Institute:

*Become a member - Renew your membership - Give a gift membership – it’s all tax-deductible!

*Adopt a bighorn: a unique gift for the person who has everything

*BI Resale Store – donate your small, high-quality items for a tax donation. BI gets 100% of sales at Antique Galleries of Palm Springs. BI Resale Store | bighorninstitute

*CARS Donation Program: Donate a vehicle (car, boat, rv, etc.) to Bighorn Institute via CARS – it’s tax-deductible! CARS donation program | bighorninstitute

*Shop Amazon Smile for Bighorn Institute: we’re all shopping online more so shop for the sheep! We get a percentage of everything you buy when shopping and choose Bighorn Institute as your charity of choice

*“Like” Bighorn Institute on social media to stay informed and support and promote our work


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