Desert Bighorn Sheep Facts

3 ewes and a lamb on escape terrain
3 ewes and a lamb on escape terrain. Photo by Steve Yeager.

From the arid desert of the Mojave to the snowy heights of the Sierras, California is home to diverse populations of bighorn sheep. The state hosts two subspecies: desert bighorn (Ovis canadensis nelsoni) and Sierra Nevada bighorn (Ovis canadensis sierrae). This website explores the natural history, current population status, and conservation efforts surrounding California’s desert bighorn sheep. For information on Sierra Nevada bighorn and Peninsular Bighorn, please visit their CDFW monitoring program’s specific websites.