Path of the Pronghorn: Leading to Passages

December 11, 2013

Scientists from WCS have worked for over a decade to protect pronghorn migrating along a 100-mile long path to and from Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park. Jeff Burrell, WCS Northern Rockies Program Coordinator, knows that if this corridor is severed, pronghorn will be lost from the park.

For more than a decade, scientists from the Wildlife Conservation Society have conducted research and worked with partners to protect pronghorn migration to and from Grand Teton National Park along a more than 100-mile long migration corridor known as the Path of the Pronghorn. The animals migrate along this corridor between summer range in and around Grand Teton National Park and winter range in the Upper Green River Valley south of Trapper’s Point in western Wyoming. If this migration corridor is severed, pronghorn will be lost from Grand Teton National Park.

Pronghorn must overcome many obstacles during their migrations. Some, like steep cliffs and fast moving rivers, are found in nature. Others, including subdivisions, fences, and highways, are human-made. Trapper’s Point is at a natural bottleneck along the Path of the Pronghorn where the Green River and New Fork River pinch together. At this location, houses, fences, and US highway 191 further constrict an already narrow portion of the Path.

As traffic volume along US 191 has substantially increased, collisions between vehicles and pronghorn trying to cross the highway have likewise increased. As we reported in our first two blogs, the Wyoming Department of Transportation committed almost $10 million to construct fences, two overpasses and six underpasses to allow pronghorn, mule deer and other wildlife to move across the highway safely.

Read the full blog on Nat Geo NewsWatch >>
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