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March 2023

Spring Fling Fast Approaching

Join us Thursday, April 20th from 5pm-7pm for our 5th Annual Spring Fling fundraiser! This fun-filled evening at the ultra-exclusive Stone Eagle Golf Club includes amazing views, a delicious dinner, a silent auction, putting contest and more! Tickets are $200/person. Would you consider being a sponsor? Party Sponsorship is $1,000 and includes 2 tickets to the Spring Fling plus advertising. Sponsorships are totally tax-deductible! Invitations have been mailed. For more information or to buy tickets, visit our website www.bighorninstitute.org/fundraisers or give us a call at 760-346-7334.



Breakfast with the Bighorn

Our 2nd Annual Breakfast with the Bighorn fundraiser was great fun and we appreciate all who came and donated auction items for future events! Kept to just 35 guests, this member mixer was a great opportunity to spend more time visiting while we enjoyed a delicious catered breakfast by J’s Deli and looked for the captive sheep through a spotting scope! The weather couldn’t have been better and the sheep made a showing. Thanks to all who were able to join us!


*From left, BI director, Jim DeForge, BI President, Mike Rivkin, with members, Pam and Phil Sklar



Moving Across Mountains

March was an exciting month for bighorn sheep travels, but there were two notable movements from sheep in the Palm Springs herd. In mid-March, we observed a collared ram with other rams across Tramway Road on the north side of Chino Canyon. We have heard rams have been moving across Tramway Road occasionally in recent years, but haven’t witnessed it so this was good to document.


Another interesting sheep movement involved a collared ewe in the San Jacinto Mountains that spent all of March in the northern Santa Rosa Mountains (NSRM) so she crossed ranges. While that’s exciting in itself, the bigger news is that she went all the way to the hills of Rancho Mirage-farther east than she has before and we observed her with other NSRM sheep there. It’s exciting to see the sheep using more of their habitat and crossing ranges. She’s back in the western edge of the NSRM now, but still hasn’t crossed back to the San Jacinto Mountains so we’re anxious to see where she spends her time this year and we’ll let you know!



Lots of Lambs

March was a busy month for documenting new lambs born in all three of our study herds. There have now been more than a dozen lambs born in the San Jacinto herd near Palm Springs and in the northern Santa Rosa herd near Rancho Mirage/Palm Desert. More are on the way in both herds. We’ve seen around 30 lambs born in the central Santa Rosa herd near La Quinta. We’re still out in the field daily looking for lambs so we’ll keep you posted on their progress.





Presentation at James Monroe

In mid-March, we gave a presentation to all of the second grade classes at James Monroe Elementary School. We had around 100 kids learning about the bighorn sheep and they asked some great questions afterward. It’s so fun to talk to young, inquisitive kids that are excited about the outdoors and bighorn sheep! There may be some future biologists in the bunch! If you would like a bighorn sheep presentation for your group, give us a call (760-346-7334) or email us (bi@bighorninstitute.org); we’d love to come talk to you!




Rain

March was a cool, wet month and we received approximately 1 ¼” of rain at the Institute and now we’re reaping the benefits; the mountains are beautiful! There are grasses and annuals blooming everywhere and the sheep have an abundance of food for the foreseeable future. If you have a chance, now is a great time to get out and see the wildflower wonderland that is our desert right now!



Member Hike Hiatus

Unfortunately, we got rained out for our March hike, but we’ve had a great, successful season of Member Hikes and saw sheep on every outing. We would love to have you join us when they resume in the fall. In the meantime, if you’re out hiking and see sheep, please log your sightings into Bighorn Institute’s project in iNaturalist. It’s free and helps us keep track of the sheep and helps others see where the sheep are. For more information visit our website: www.BighornInstitute.org/inaturalist-project


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