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Annual Ranges of Pronghorn in the South of Interstate 40 Herd in Arizona

Dates

Publication Date
Start Date
2018-01-01
End Date
2019-12-01

Citation

Arizona Game and Fish Department, 2020, Annual Ranges of Pronghorn in the South of Interstate 40 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

Interest in the movement of pronghorn south of Arizona’s Interstate 40 (I-40) began when telemetry data from 1999 – 2004 showed seasonal round-trip movements upwards of 100 miles. In 2018, high-resolution GPS location data confirmed persistence of this remarkable pronghorn migration. This herd resides primarily in Game Management Unit 8, which had a population estimate of 400 individuals in 2019. Unlike traditional summer-winter range dynamics, this pronghorn population uses a complex of several important seasonal ranges during their annual movements, which are connected by narrow corridors. The herd has high fidelity to these corridors, which elevates the importance of research and management efforts to conserve them. During the summer, [...]

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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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