Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version Share this

By Miriam Raftery

May 22, 2019 (Anza-Borrego)–Volunteers are needed for the 49th annual Bighorn Sheep Count in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park July 5-7, with an orientation session June 22nd.  If you want to enjoy the thrill of seeing these elusive and majestic animals while helping gather important data to help protect the species, please contact with questions and be sure to fill out the RSVP form on Page 2 of this flyer.

The orientation, mandatory for all first-time counters and highly recommended for veterans, will be conducted at the University of California, Irvine Steele/Burnand Anza-Borrego Desert Research Center (l 401 Tilting T Drive, Borrego Springs) on Saturday, June 22th from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The orientation will cover bighorn sheep identification, California Fish and Wildlife’s recovery efforts, bighorn sheep natural history, census methods, desert safety, and site assignment.


Volunteers will disperse to count sites on Thursday afternoon, July 4th, and conducting the count on Friday, July 5th, Saturday July 6th, and Sunday, July 7th.  On Thursday, sheep counters will meet at the Palm Canyon Maintenance Shop between 1-3 p.m. for check in and dispersal. Counters should return to the shop by 3 p.m. on Sunday to compile count data before heading home.

Sheep Count coordinator Michael J. Puzzo with Anza-Borrego Desert State Park says, “As always, we need willing backpackers, and we need four wheel-drive vehicles to help get volunteers into some of the count sites.”


Sheep population numbers in the Park are estimated at about 500, and totals for the entire Peninsular Ranges are almost 900 sheep. 

2019 Bighorn Sheep Count Sites

Borrego Palm Canyon Trailhead

Borrego Palm Canyon 1st grove

Borrego Palm Canyon 2nd grove

Borrego Palm Canyon 3rd grove

Borrego Palm Canyon 4th grove

Tubb Canyon Middle Spring

Tubb Canyon Big Spring

Hellhole Upper

Hellhole Lower

Coyote Canyon 2nd crossing

Coyote Canyon Box Canyon/Lower Willows

Middle Willows Lower

Middle Willows Upper

Sheep Canyon

Cougar Canyon

Rattlesnake Spring

North Fork Palm Wash Tenaja

Agua Caliente County Park

Sentenac Canyon

Error message

Support community news in the public interest! As nonprofit news, we rely on donations from the public to fund our reporting -- not special interests. Please donate to sustain East County Magazine's local reporting and/or wildfire alerts at to help us keep people safe and informed across our region.