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April 2024

Spring Fling a Success

Bighorn Institute’s 6th Annual Spring Fling was held on April 16th at the exclusive Stone Eagle Golf Club and was a great success!  Everyone enjoyed a delicious dinner, raffle, and live and silent auctions and unbeatable desert views. After several days of strong winds, we had an incredibly beautiful, calm evening. Thanks to all who joined us; it was so good to see our supporters in person!  We want to extend a thank you to our sponsors and donors and a special thank you to our title sponsors, James and Rebecca Malachowski!


We have documented more lambs in our study areas in April, and are eager to see what the remainder of lambing season brings. We mentioned last month that some lambs were starting to show signs of illness. We’ve seen this in the northern and central Santa Rosa herds in the Rancho Mirage and La Quinta areas, but are still seeing many lambs.  We hope for the best.


Since January, we have been keeping you up to date on a Palm Springs ewe that crossed ranges with her lamb not long after giving birth and has been residing with ewes and lambs in the mountains near Rancho Mirage.  They’re still with these sheep and are thriving. In fact, they’ve moved further east into new habitat so their range continues to expand. 

Rancho Mirage Library Presentation 

In mid-April, we gave a presentation at the Rancho Mirage Library to a packed auditorium with nearly 250 people! If you couldn’t make it, you can watch the presentation by clicking the photo. It is always fun talking with new groups and educating people about the sheep! If you would like a bighorn sheep presentation for your group, give us a call (760-346-7334) or email us (; we’d love to come talk to you!

*click photo to watch presentation

Rancho Mirage Water Source

The Rancho Mirage Sheep Preserve water source is one of 8 man-made water sources in the northern Santa Rosa Mountains near Rancho Mirage and Palm Desert. The city installed it years ago on lands they set aside for the sheep.  These water sources are vital to the bighorn’s survival and were installed over the past few decades as some of their natural water sources have dried up.  Bighorn Institute helps to maintain these water sources by checking on them throughout the year to make sure they’re functioning and to clear out any overgrown vegetation that can provide an ambush opportunity for predators.  You can watch a short video by the City of Rancho Mirage regarding their water source by clicking the photo.

*click photo to watch presentation

La Quinta Guzzler

With the fence along PGA West and Lake Cahuilla recently completed, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife installed a temporary guzzler and will replace it with a permanent one soon.  While there is natural water in this part of the range, this additional water source will help alleviate concerns about any lacking resources for the sheep.

*The temporary LQ guzzler.

Snakes Are Out

With the warmer weather the snakes have been out so watch your step while hiking! Contrary to popular belief, rattlesnakes are not aggressive and won’t chase you in fact they are quite timid. However, they can strike if startled so be aware of your surroundings.

*A Southwestern Speckled Rattlesnake (Crotalus pyrrhus) seeks shade from the heat

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Need a special gift for your mother?  Here are a few ideas that may please your mother and help support the endangered Peninsular bighorn sheep! 

  1. Give a gift membership to the Institute – memberships start at just $25/year, are tax-deductible & they can join our member hikes!

  2. Adopt a Bighorn – $100 for a lamb, $150 for a ewe or ram:

  3. Feed the captive herd for a week - $150 (donation only-not actual feeding)

  4. Help track radio-collared bighorn for a month - $500 (donation only – BI does the monitoring)

To donate, please visit our website, email ( or call us at 760-346-7334.


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