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June 2021

Lambing Season Ends

It’s the end of June so that means it’s the end of lambing season for our local bighorn. Peninsular bighorn sheep usually give birth any time between January and June. It’s been a good lambing season for the northern and central Santa Rosa Mountains herds (from Rancho Mirage through La Quinta), but the San Jacinto herd saw several lamb deaths early on. That said, there are still a number of lambs alive in this Palm Springs group so we’ll hope they make it through summer. Speaking of summer, it’s going to be a hot one and there are sick lambs in the La Quinta herd, particularly around the golf courses. These sick lambs have upper respiratory illness and the extreme heat makes it even more difficult for them, but hopefully, they’ll pull through. (Pictured: A healthy male lamb).

Waterhole Count

The Institute and volunteers will conduct our annual waterhole count in July in the northern Santa Rosa Mountains. Since bighorn sheep can go up to three days in over 100º without physically drinking water, it’s best to do the count during mid-summer when it’s hot and the sheep need to drink. The count helps us to get a good look at the population and see how the lambs are doing. Since most of the herd is unmarked, it’s a useful tool to compliment our daily monitoring. Stay tuned for our results in next month’s newsletter. (Pictured: sheep drink from man-made guzzler).

Water Hauls for Sheep

As many of you know, California is in the grips of another drought year as is much of the western US. Desert bighorn sheep are incredibly well acclimated for extreme conditions and heat, but some of the mountain ranges are without water and man-made guzzlers have not been replenished due to a lack of rain. Fortunately, in our local mountains, there are man-made guzzlers for the sheep in the ranges that lack natural water. In the Mojave desert of California, a number of guzzlers have gone dry and the governor signed a special executive order to allow helicopters to assist in hauling water into these areas most in need in the Clipper, Marble and Sheephole Mountains. We applaud the efforts of the state and Society for the Conservation of Bighorn Sheep in their efforts to help the bighorn in these unprecedented times. Interestingly, Nevada is also hauling in water for bighorn sheep this year and you can learn more about it in our Recent News below. (Photo credit: SCBS).

Bighorn Presentation

This month we gave a bighorn presentation via Zoom to the La Quinta Rotary Club. The La Quinta Rotary Club was a great group of folks who had some good questions about the sheep in their area of the valley, particularly the ones in the urban area. Part of the group met in person so we’re getting closer to having “normal” in-person presentations and have our first one lined up for early July! If you’d like a bighorn presentation for your group, give us a call at (760) 346-7334 or email us at

CARS Donation Program

Bighorn Institute has joined CARS as a charity of choice for vehicle donations! Have a car, boat, rv, or other vehicle you don’t need? You can donate it to Bighorn Institute via CARS and it’s tax-deductable! Donating is easy and your vehicle doesn’t even have to run. Just click CARS donation program | bighorninstitute or call 855-500-7433 and CARS does all the work to make donating hassle-free! This is another great way to support the sheep so please spread the word!

BI Resale Store

Bighorn Institute’s Resale Store at Antique Galleries of Palm Springs is going strong! This is a long-term program so we’re always looking for more loot to add to the store. We would like smaller, high-quality items such as: jewelry, coins, bullion, pen sets, small clocks and watches, crystal, statuary and decorative items, antiques and collectibles, etc. All profits benefit the bighorn AND all donations are tax-deductible! You can take your items directly to Antique Galleries of Palm Springs (505 E. Industrial Place, just south of downtown off Sunny Dunes) and ask for Mike or Thomas. If you can’t take your items in, give us a call and we can help collect them 760-346-7334. Thank you!

Recent News:

Nevada Department of Wildlife hauls water to remote desert areas for thirsty animals


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