Peninsular Bighorn Sheep: Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Several years ago, I read Eating Stone: Imagination and the Loss of the Wild by Ellen Meloy.   Since then, I’ve dreamed of seeing bighorn sheep in their natural home.  Little did I know that I’d end up living not too far from Ovis canadensis nelsoni — desert bighorn sheep of southeastern CA, also called Peninsular bighorn sheep, and an endangered specie.

Previous trips to the desert resulted in no sightings, but this time, on the way down S-22/Montezuma grade into Borrego Springs, there they were, up high in the rocks, looking down over cars passing by as the sun warmed the earth.

Peninsular Bighorn Sheep, Anza Borrego State Park, CA

Peninsular Bighorn Sheep, Anza Borrego State Park, CA

Peninsular Bighorn Sheep, Anza Borrego State Park, CA

Eating Ocotillo
Eating Ocotillo

Peninsular Bighorn Sheep, Anza Borrego State Park, CA

From Eating Stone:

“In the basin and range province of southeastern California, for instance, sheep considered to be captive on their islands have moved from one mountain range to adjacent mountains more readily than anyone thought they would.  The animals cross the desert valleys to reach other patches of suitable mountain habitat.”

Survivors.

 

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