Monday, November 16, 2009

Long Distance Pronghorns

One of the longest mammal migrations remaining on the continent occurs in southcentral Idaho, a recent study commissioned by the Wildlife Conservation S0ciety and Lava Lake Institute found.

The study found that pronghorns annually move from the Pioneer Mountains across Craters of the Moon and the Idaho National Laboratory to the Beaverhead Mountains--a distance of 160 miles.

At one point, the migration path is less than 200 yards wide.

The Wildlife Conservation Society used radio collars and Global Positioning Systems (GPS) to track the pronghorn movements.

This research demonstrates the importance of the Pioneer Mountains and Craters of the Moon area. Only 10% of the ranches in this area are protected by conservation easements. Energy development has been proposed.

Mammal migrations are among the most spectacular ecological phenomena on our planet.

The pronghorn is a survivor from the Pleistocene, an American original. Undoubtedly, these animals have been following this route for thousands of years.

Let's work together to make sure they can keep on moving. --Matt Miller

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Fish & Game tries to save stranded pronghorn


ISLAND PARK — Around a dozen pronghorn, commonly called antelope, never made it out of the caldera during the fall migration. They’re stranded in the Shotgun Valley, in the Centennial Shores subdivision.

They could be the same group many Shotgun residents saw hanging around the Stoddard Mill Pond off Yale-Kilgore Road in October during a blizzard.

Concerned Centennial Shores residents have volunteered to blow snow off the sagebrush and grass so the antelope can eat but Idaho Department of Fish and Game Regional Conservation Educator, Gregg Losinski, said IDFG is having some success feeding the animals and there is a chance that they will survive if the weather does not get too harsh.

Losinski said pronghorn do not hold up well to being tranquilized and moved, and also do not always survive when they are eat anything other than the natural food they can forage.

Please do not drive out to the subdivision and try to photograph these animals because they are in stress and seeing people would threaten them and could do them in.

“Keeping people away is probably the biggest thing we can do right now,” Losinksi said.

This is part of the February 18, 2010 online edition of The Island Park News.