In lieu of a blog, I want to shine a light on a very cool opportunity that comes around every summer here in Anza-Borrego- the Sheep Count. This year marks the 45th year of the count, and I know I for one am very excited to do my part. I will once again be joining the ranks of many dedicated volunteers, from the few rookies we hope to get and retain each year to the old folk that have been in on the adventure since the beginning.
So now it's time. Time to make a big decision to devote your 4th of July holiday not to barbecuing delicious morsels for friends and family, but to the protection of our famous desert ungulates, the Peninsular Bighorn Sheep. Still not sure? Take a look at a post about my first sheep count, and a recap of just one of Phil and Callie's many sheep count adventures.
See the Call for Counters below from Ranger Steve and his sidekick Mark. We hope to see you at the mandatory orientation on June 20!
-Ashley Kvitek, ABF Education Coordinator
CALLING ALL SHEEP COUNTERS:
We hope you’re able to volunteer for the 45th Annual Bighorn Sheep Count at Anza-Borrego ! We need your help to make this bighorn census a success!
The 4th of July holiday falls on Saturday this year. We will be dispersing to count sites on Thursday afternoon, July 2nd , and conducting the count on Friday, July 3rd, Saturday July 4th, and Sunday, July 5th. On Thursday we will meet at the Palm Canyon Maintenance Shop between 1-3PM for dispersal. We’ll be back there by 3PM on Sunday to compile count data and get you headed home.
The orientation, mandatory for all first-time counters and highly recommended for veterans, will be conducted at the Visitor Center on Saturday, June 20th from 9AM-1PM. We encourage all sheep counters to try to attend this orientation. We know most of you have counted sheep for years, but we can all use a tune-up!! The orientation will cover bighorn natural history, census methods, desert safety, and preliminary site assignments. We’ll look at PowerPoint, skulls, and handouts.
We hope you can assist us with the annual sheep count. Thank you for your interest and dedication. Sheep population numbers continue upwards, with the most recent estimate in the Park at about 500 and totals for the entire Peninsular Ranges at over 900 sheep.
Please use the RSVP form to let us know you’ll be able to help us this year. As always, we need willing backpackers, and we need four-wheel-drive vehicles to help get volunteers into their count sites. Hope to hear from you soon.
Ranger Steve Bier
Sheep Count Coordinator
Anza Borrego Desert State Park
Mark C. Jorgensen
Volunteer Sheep Count Coordinator