San Gabriel bighorn sheep survey seeks volunteers

A Bighorn Sheep near the road between Ba

Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images

A Bighorn Sheep near the road between Banff and Lake Louise Nov. 23, 2009.

In the San Gabriel Mountains, state wildlife officials are looking for a few good sheep. Bighorn sheep, in particular. They're looking for a few good people to count the sheep, too.

In about a month, volunteers will meet at Verdemont community center in San Bernardino for orientation on surveying sheep in the San Gabriels. The Department of Fish and Game asks that participants be over 16 years old and in good health.

Amateur sheep spotters will need to display the same skills the Nelson’s bighorn sheep themselves do. The survey is a bushwhack through chaparral, a scramble over boulders, a climb up a steep slope.

The Nelson’s bighorns in the San Gabriel Mountains have lost territory as people have encroached in this area. State scientists say the sheep's numbers dropped 80 percent at one point, but have leveled out.

There’s no pay for helping out with the survey, though some campsite spots will open for free — first come, first served. You can answer the call of the wild by requesting a volunteer information packet at SanGabrielBighorn.org.

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