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October 2020

Fall Fundraiser

Our Special Dinner Under the Stars at The Aerie restaurant is filling quickly for Sunday, November 15th, but there’s still room for you and your guests to join us. If you’re comfortable dining out, you don’t want to miss this incredible venue. Dinner is limited to 60 guests with two outdoor sittings: 5:30pm and 6:00pm. You may eat at your leisure, the two groups will dine at opposite ends of the patio and safety precautions in place. The cost is $500/couple. There will be no raffle, no auction, and no extended program this year.

Join us on the links for our 33rd Annual Golf Classic Monday, November 16th at the spectacular Stone Eagle golf course for a day of golf you won’t forget. All necessary precautions will be in place, including staggered tee times. The cost is $500/person. There will be plenty of food and drinks available on the course and tee gifts including a Maui Jim Sunglasses gift card for $200.

For more information, call the office 760-346-7334 or visit our website to sign up online

A ewe with a GPS collar that recently dropped off


The California Department of Fish and Wildlife is capturing Peninsular bighorn sheep from Palm Springs to La Quinta October 30 – November 2 to put radio-collars on ewes. All of the current GPS radio-collars have dropped off as scheduled, which leaves virtually no bighorn radio-collared in this area. The old GPS collars lasted 3 years and these new solar-powered GPS collars which are being put on should last 5-7 years. The Recovery Plan for Peninsular Bighorn Sheep recommends at least 30% of each of the 9 ewe groups wear functioning radio-collars so this capture achieves that goal. The sheep will be captured using a net-gun fired from a helicopter. They will be quickly restrained including a blindfold to help reduce stress then field-processed where biological samples will be taken from each animal before they are fitted with a radio-collar and eartag. There are protocols in place to protect the sheep. Having radio-collared sheep to track allows us and others to document the health and behavior of the herd, reproduction and lamb survival, habitat use, demography and cause-specific mortality. The GPS collar location data will help protect current and future sheep habitat.


The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) typically conducts biennial range-wide helicopter surveys in the fall of even years to get a new population estimate for the endangered Peninsular bighorn sheep. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been a survey since 2016 and it doesn’t look like it will be conducted this year either. The last population estimate was 800 Peninsular bighorn in the U.S., which is from Palm Springs to the Mexican border. Population estimates are vital to properly manage species, especially those that are endangered. Hopefully, CDFW will conduct a survey next year.

Aimee works an education booth for the Institute last year

20 Years

Aimee celebrated her 20 year anniversary as a biologist and associate director with the Institute this October! This is certainly an achievement that we’re proud of; here’s to many more years!

Field Vehicle

19 yr old field Jeep

We’re still very much in need of a field vehicle. Our 19 year old Jeep is on its last legs, repair costs are mounting and we need to find a replacement. Our field vehicles are our life-lines allowing us to do our work. We don’t have the money for a new vehicle so if you or someone you know have a vehicle you’d consider donating, it would be immensely appreciated. Your donation would be completely tax-deductible. Thank you, for your consideration and if you have a vehicle to donate, please call us at 760-346-7334 or email us at

Member Hikes

We will remain on a Member Hike hiatus at least until Riverside County can consistently stay in the lower, safer tiers for COVID-19. In the meantime, the weather’s turning beautiful so take a hike! Let us know if you see sheep!

Shop for the Sheep

Want an easy way to support the sheep and the Institute’s research and conservation efforts? You can shop for the sheep! Just shop as usual at Ralphs or Amazon (using, choosing Bighorn Institute as your charity of choice and they will provide us with a quarterly donation.


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