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Migration Corridors of Elk in the Interstate 17 Herd in Arizona

Dates

Publication Date
Start Date
2006-01-01
End Date
2014-12-31

Citation

Arizona Game and Fish Department, 2020, Migration Corridors of Elk in the Interstate 17 Herd in Arizona in Kauffman, M.J., Copeland, H.E., Cole, E., Cuzzocreo, M., Dewey, S., Fattebert, J., Gagnon, J., Gelzer, E., Graves, T.A., Hersey, K., Kaiser, R., Meacham, J., Merkle, J., Middleton, A., Nunez, T., Oates, B., Olson, D., Olson, L., Sawyer, H., Schroeder, C., Sprague, S., Steingisser, A., and Thonhoff, M., 2020, Ungulate Migrations of the Western United States, Volume 1: U.S. Geological Survey data release, https://doi.org/10.5066/P9O2YM6I.

Summary

The Interstate 17 (I-17) elk herd primarily resides in Arizona’s GMU 6A and 11M south of Flagstaff. The population estimate for elk in GMU 6A was 6,500 in 2019. Their summer range consists of gentle topography with ponderosa pine forest and interspersed riparian-meadow habitat. Annually, the I-17 elk herd migrates an average of 24 miles to lower-elevation winter range dominated by pinyon-juniper habitat. This winter habitat is located along Oak Creek Canyon to the west and Wet Beaver Creek to the south. The I-17 elk herd faces high road mortality, averaging around 80 mortalities from vehicles per year (Gagnon et al 2013). Despite the high incidence of elk-vehicle collisions along I-17, road crossings are generally prevented from the [...]

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Shapefile: Elk_AZ_Interstate17_Corridors_Ver1_2019.zip
Elk_AZ_Interstate17_Corridors_Ver1_2019.CPG 9 Bytes
Elk_AZ_Interstate17_Corridors_Ver1_2019.dbf 15.31 KB
Elk_AZ_Interstate17_Corridors_Ver1_2019.prj 423 Bytes
Elk_AZ_Interstate17_Corridors_Ver1_2019.sbn 652 Bytes
Elk_AZ_Interstate17_Corridors_Ver1_2019.sbx 164 Bytes
Elk_AZ_Interstate17_Corridors_Ver1_2019.shp 191.98 KB
Elk_AZ_Interstate17_Corridors_Ver1_2019.shx 532 Bytes

Purpose

Across the western U.S., many ungulate herds must migrate seasonally to access resources and avoid harsh winter conditions. Because these corridors traverse vast landscapes (i.e., up to 150 miles), they are increasingly threatened by roads, fencing, subdivisions and other development. Over the last decade, many new tracking studies have been conducted on migratory herds, and analytical methods have been developed that allow for population-level corridors and stopovers to be mapped and prioritized. In 2018, the U.S. Geological Survey assembled a Corridor Mapping Team to provide technical assistance to western states working to map bison, elk, moose, mule deer, and pronghorn corridors using existing GPS data. Based out of the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, the team consists of federal scientists, university researchers, and biologists and analysts from participating state agencies. In its first year, the team has worked to develop a standardized analytical and computational methods and a workflow applicable to data sets typically collected by state agencies. In 2019, the team completed analyses necessary to map corridors, stopovers, and winter ranges in Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming. A total of 26 corridors, 16 migration routes, 25 stopovers, and 9 winter ranges, were mapped across these states and are included in this project. The Ungulate Migrations of the Western United States report and associated map archive provides the means for corridors to be taken into account by state and federal transportation officials, land and wildlife managers, planners, and other conservationists working to maintain big game corridors in the western states.

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