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January 2023

Reminder: Membership Meeting Feb. 4th

Our Annual Membership Meeting is coming up soon and will be held on Saturday, February 4th from 8:30am-9:30am at Bighorn Institute. We will discuss our accomplishments in 2022, plans for 2023 and elect the Institute’s 2023 Board of Directors. All current members are welcome, but please RSVP at 760-346-7334. We hope you can join us!

Population Update

January 1st, all 2022 lambs are considered yearlings and are added as adults into the population. Lamb survival was about the same as last year in the northern Santa Rosa Mountains (NSRM) near Rancho Mirage/Palm Desert and San Jacinto Mountains (SJM) near Palm Springs; 40% lamb survival and 26% lamb survival, respectively. The NSRM herd now numbers approximately 125 and the SJM herd has around 85 adult bighorn. Unfortunately, lamb survival wasn’t as good in the central Santa Rosa Mountains (CSRM) herd near La Quinta with a mere 12 lambs known to have survived. The last estimate for the CSRM was around 120 adult bighorn in 2016. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife conducted a range-wide population survey in early December, but we’ve been told the results could be held up for another month so still no update to report.

New Lambs

The 2023 lambs are here! We’ve documented lambs born in the San Jacinto Mountains near Palm Springs and in the central Santa Rosa Mountains near La Quinta. Lambing season extends from January to June for Peninsular bighorn with most lambs usually born between February and April. We’re in the field daily searching for lambs and pregnant ewes ready to give birth. If you’re out hiking and see lambs, please let us know! Give us a call 760-346-7334 or email us at However, please don’t post on social media where you see lambs as too many people can be stressful to the sheep. We are hopeful for a successful lambing season this year!

UK Television Features Sheep

In late January, UK television channel 4 spent the morning in the field with Institute biologists searching for bighorn sheep to film for their four-part series on landscapes, landmarks and conservation in the US. Show host, Matt Baker, and crew made their way from Florida across to California and wanted to feature our local, endangered Peninsular bighorn sheep and talk about the conservation work Bighorn Institute has conducted in its 40 year. We were successful in showing them 19 sheep, they got great footage and asked good questions. The show should air in late April and they’ll provide us with a link, which we’ll try to share with you when it’s available.

*Filming host, Matt Baker, with Aimee

Dr. Stuart Barton

It is with great sadness that we inform you that our long-time board member and friend, Dr. Stuart Barton, passed away on November 29, 2022. Stuart had been on our board since the mid-80s and was an invaluable mentor during the years that we brought in sick lambs and rehabilitated them. As an ear, nose and throat specialist, Stuart was instrumental in teaching us how to perform life-saving medical procedures on the lambs, advised us on their medical treatment, helped secure funds and equipment from Eisenhower and the list goes on. However, more than his immense help with the sheep and guiding and supporting the Institute all of these years, he was our dear friend and will be greatly missed.

Member Hike

Our January Member Hike was a success and we saw 8 sheep. Our next member hike will be held on Friday, February 17th and will be a moderately strenuous hike. 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

Tour de Palm Springs – Walk/Bike for BI

If you can walk or ride a bike, you can support Bighorn Institute in the 2023 Tour de Palm Springs! The event takes place next month on Saturday, February 11th and you have the option to walk 1 to 3 miles or bike ride either solo or tandem for 7, 25, 34, 56, 85 or 102 miles. Be sure to use Bighorn Institute’s charity code BHIT23 when you register, we get 100% of your entry fee to support the sheep! Walk and ride registration starts at just $25! To register visit

Bighorn Presentation

Earlier this month, we gave a presentation for Northwestern University alumni at Smoke Tree Ranch in Palm Springs. It was a great group and we always welcome opportunities to educate others about the sheep and our work. 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!

Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

Need a sweet gift for a special person? Here are a few ideas and the best part is that the proceeds go directly to helping 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 – not actual monitoring)

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

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