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May 2024

Save the Date: Fall Fundraiser

We’re excited to announce our Annual Party and Golf Classic will take place Sunday and Monday, November 17th and 18th at the beautiful 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.

Palm Springs Ewe

It’s now been nearly 5 months since the Palm Springs ewe on which we’ve kept you updated has been in the northern Santa Rosa Mountains (NSRM) with her female lamb. Interestingly, earlier this month, they moved to the western edge of the NSRM, which is in full view of the San Jacinto Mountains in Palm Springs, but they haven’t crossed back yet.  Stay tuned as we wait and see if and when this ewe returns to her Palm Springs San Jacinto home range.

*The Palm Springs ewe and her lamb

How Do Bighorn Handle the Heat?

It’s starting to get hot out; ever wonder how bighorn sheep survive the summer heat?  They have several amazing adaptations.  Most animals can’t lose 10% of their body weight in fluid before dehydration begins, but desert bighorn can lose up to 30% of their fluid weight and still survive.  Their kidneys are specially adapted to efficiently conserve water and they excrete a small pile of pellets as waste.  They’re able to get moisture from vegetation, especially during droughts.  Even though the sheep have sweat glands, only a small amount of heat is actually lost from sweating.  Remarkably, they can go up to 3 days in 100 degree temperatures without drinking water!  Their coats are tan colored so reflect some of the sun’s rays to keep them cooler.  They also thrive in the heat by bedding in the shade during the heat of day.  While we don’t have these amazing adaptations, we can survive the summer heat by hiking early, drinking plenty of water, and seeking shade when it’s available. 

Indio Rotary Presentation

In early May, we gave a presentation to the Rotary Club of Indio about our local bighorn sheep. It was a great group and a few people joined the Institute as members as a result.  We’re around this summer if you have a group that would like to learn about the sheep so give us a call (760-346-7334) or email us (; we’d be happy to come talk to you!

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 continue to monitor 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!


Need a unique Father’s day gift or just want to support the sheep? You can Adopt-a-Bighorn! Lambs are $100, ewes and rams are $150 each. Adoptions include a certificate, a 4x6 color photograph of your endangered Peninsular bighorn sheep, a bighorn sheep fact sheet, a year’s subscription to our e-newsletter, and a year’s membership with the Institute. All adoptions are 100% tax-deductible!  Visit our website to adopt-a-bighorn:


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