Bighorn Institute


Bighorn Institute is dedicated to the conservation of the world's wild sheep through research and education. Its primary goal is to conduct research into the ecology of wild sheep populations with particular emphasis on Peninsular desert bighorn. The Institute also conducts a Captive Breeding and Wild Population Augmentation Program to provide genetic and demographic support to declining Peninsular bighorn populations. Through field and laboratory studies, the Institute generates scientific knowledge to assist in and promote the judicious management of wild sheep. Bighorn Institute is a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization created in 1982 by a group of biologists and veterinarians to investigate the causes of bighorn sheep declines, with the primary focus being Peninsular desert bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis). Funding for Bighorn Institute's programs is derived from individual contributions, private foundations, and public sector grants. Our work is conducted with the cooperation and oversight of the California Department of Fish and Game, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Bureau of Land Management. Bighorn Institute provides ecological information related to bighorn sheep to various organizations and agencies to promote the conservation and proper management of wild sheep and their habitat. Although our main focus has been the study of Peninsular bighorn sheep in California, we have been called into ten western states, and the countries of Mexico, Mongolia, and Turkmenistan to assist with wild sheep projects. Bighorn Institute is located in Riverside County, California, adjacent to the City of Palm Desert. Our facilities, which include an office, laboratory, biologists' residence, and pens for the captive herd and bighorn rehabilitation, are located on nearly 300 acres of land purchased from the Bureau of Land Management. New facilities including offices, animal care units, and research laboratories are planned for the near future. Due to the sensitive nature of both the disease research and the captive-rearing and wild release program, sheep at Bighorn Institute are not available for public viewing.

Additional Information

Contact Name Jim DeForge, Executive Director -


PO Box 262
Palm Desert, CA


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Fax: (760) 340-3987

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