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Volunteers Wanted: California Needs Your Help Counting Bighorn Sheep

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife is asking for the public’s help for an annual count of bighorn sheep. If you’re a fan of hiking and searching for wildlife, it could be a great way to get outdoors.

The count focuses on the San Gabriel Mountains of Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties. California wildlife officials say they’re working with the U.S. Forest Service and the Society of the Conservation of Bighorn Sheep

The survey will include groups of hikers heading into the mountains early in the morning. Volunteers will identify and fill out a data sheet of sheep in the area. A wildlife official will help lead the hikes. 

Are you interested?

Volunteers must meet these standards:

  • Be at least 16 years of age
  • Capable of hiking one to five miles in rugged terrain
  • Be willing to hike over boulders, through creeks, and up steep slopes
  • Have binoculars

Anyone interested in volunteering needs to fill out this sheet. There is a mandatory meeting on March 2, with the survey planned for Saturday, March 3.

The bighorn sheep in the area differ from others in other parts of the country. Known as the desert bighorn sheep, these sheep are slightly smaller than you would see in the Rockies. However, they can still grow to be somewhere between 100 and 250 lbs. While younger sheep may be confused with mule deer, both males and females grow the signature horns the animal is known for. The San Gabriel Mountains species is not considered endangered, but the animal has seen a recent decline in its population in the last few decades.

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