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June 2023

Save the Date: Fall Fundraiser

We’re excited to announce our Annual Party and Golf Classic will take place Sunday and Monday, November 19th and 20th at Stone Eagle Golf Club! This is the Institute’s primary fundraiser and is an event you don’t want to miss so mark your calendars and tell your friends! The Annual Party takes place Sunday evening and the Golf Classic is on Monday. All proceeds benefit the endangered Peninsular bighorn.

Wine Down Wednesday Fundraiser a Success!

The Institute was the charity of choice for Marker Broadcasting, KOOL 95.9 and Q102.3’s Wine Down Wednesday fundraiser on June 7th at Wildest, and it was a great success! The place was packed, the food and drinks were delicious and all enjoyed a rousing raffle with fun prizes. Special thanks to Meg and Todd Marker and Marker Broadcasting for including the Institute in this event and supporting the sheep.

Lambing Season Ends

Lambing season has “officially” ended this year for Peninsular bighorn sheep as it typically extends from January through June. That said, there’s always a chance of an “outlier” lamb birth so we stay on the lookout for new lambs throughout the year. Lamb survival has not been good in the San Jacinto Mountains near Palm Springs as only a handful remain. The northern Santa Rosa Mountains herd near Rancho Mirage and Palm Desert is faring better with a number of lambs still alive. We’ll confirm this in early July with our annual waterhole count in this part of the range. The central Santa Rosa Mountains herd near La Quinta is struggling again this year and not just the ones that live on the golf course. While six more lambs died in the urban area in June, we aren’t seeing a lot of lambs in the backcountry in this herd either. Time will tell so we’ll keep tracking the sheep and see how they’re doing.

Moving Up, North

While no collared sheep were seen crossing ranges this month, sheep in the San Jacinto herd near Palm Springs have continued to move north beyond the typical northern extent of their range (Chino Canyon) using Angel and Blaisdell Canyons throughout June. Last month, we reported a collared ram using Blaisdell Canyon, which continued this month. However, two ewes (one is collared) and a yearling ram seemed to set up camp in Angel Canyon, which is just south of Blaisdell. They’re still residing in this area as we write this at the end of June so we’ll see how long they stay. The incredible thing is that ewes haven’t been known to travel this far north and now two of them (that we know of) are up there and can bring others with them in the future. Their range knowledge is expanding and will be passed down to future generations, which

is fantastic.

*The collared ewe and yearling ram relaxing in Angel Canyon.

Ram Captured in Tradition

A ram that regularly utilizes the urban area of Tradition Golf Club in La Quinta got his foot stuck in a plastic sprinkler drain and rather than stepping on it and breaking it against the rocks, he stopped using that foot causing him to limp and his leg to atrophy. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife tranquilized the ram in early June to remove the drain and since they had him in hand, they collared him so he could be tracked. This is just one small example of the hazards that exist for these endangered sheep living in the urban area of La Quinta and why a fence is needed to protect them.

*Ram with the sprinkler drain on his foot (circled) - submitted photo, Tradition staff

Are You a Member?

Did you know that Bighorn Institute is a privately-funded nonprofit and we receive no state or federal funding? We have released over 125 captive-reared bighorn into the wild over the past 40 years, kept 2 local bighorn herds from disappearing and monitored the local herds daily, all with private dollars. We also provide vital data to the wildlife agencies to help with the management of the endangered Peninsular bighorn sheep. We rely on the generosity of our members; membership donations are completely tax-deductible and start at just $25/year. If you enjoy this newsletter and learning about the sheep, we hope you’ll become a member! Thank you for your support!

Wish List

4 trail cameras - $300 – assist us with fieldwork


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