A Conservation Success for Pronghorn

August 15, 2018

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Photo Credit: ©Jeff Burrell/WCS

Pronghorn go on an impressive migration. In 2007, their route through Wyoming became the first (and only) federally recognized wildlife migration corridor in the United States.

Now, a new study co-authored by WCS and Oregon State says efforts to protect the path by installing wildlife crossing structures over highways have succeeded.

The researchers identified an increased success rate of pronghorn crossings over time. This work, in combination with a 70% reduction in wildlife-vehicle collisions after the installation of crossing structures and fences, provides evidence that wildlife can adapt to using these structures, which are meant to keep animals and drivers safe while allowing for continued wildlife migration.

“The fact that pronghorn acclimated to these new structures increases the likelihood that a 6,000-year-old migration will continue," said Renee Seidler, lead author on the study and a Conservation Scientist with WCS at the time of the study, "and that the $9.7 million invested in this project was a successful investment to help preserve this unique migration and increase the safety of the traveling public.”

For the full scoop, check out this NineCaribou Productions film from the archives:

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