Dances with Sheep: Counting Bighorn in the Desert
Travel along with Anne Zuparko as she spends three days in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.
The peninsular bighorn sheep—known for its unique ability to withstand extreme, harsh conditions—is a true symbol of the California desert wilderness. Like the terrain it inhabits, it’s both rugged and beautiful. The sheep moves with an agility that mirrors the desert’s sparse and breathtaking landscape. Skillfully maneuvering rocky desert outcroppings, the bighorn demonstrates exceptional grace that belies its powerful build and hallmark massive horns.
An Endangered Species
The iconic peninsular bighorn faces real threats to its long-term survival. The sheep were listed as a federally endangered population in 1998; there are now estimated to be only 875 living in the United States. Scientists point to several factors that may threaten bighorn sheep populations.
Protecting Desert Creatures, Large and Small
The Conservancy and our partners collaborate to implement conservation strategies to protect this critical land and the animals that inhabit it.
Did You Know? Cool Facts about the Peninsular Bighorn Sheep