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Habitat Selection and Movement Patterns of Pronghorn in the Big Chino Valley

 

Background:Buck

Pronghorn habitat in Yavapai County is threatened by rapid expansion of urban and semi-urban developments along with the road infrastructure that comes with it. Big Chino Valley is valuable pronghorn habitat and is the largest contiguous piece of habitat south of the Grand Canyon. Habitat loss and degradation are the greatest threats to pronghorn in this area.  In 2007, the Arizona Game and Fish department in conjunction with The Nature Conservancy, the Prescott National Forest, and the Arizona Antelope Foundation, began a research study to document movement patterns and identify critical habitats important to pronghorn of the area.

 

Location:

mapBig Chino valley is north of Prescott and angles to the northwest toward Seligman. The study area is bounded by Paulden along Hwy 89 on the southeast and I-40 at Seligman to the northwest. Topography is flat to rolling hills.

pronghorn

 

 

Approach:

To evaluate movements of pronghorn relative to roads and habitat we captured 31 adult pronghorn. We fitted animals with GPS telemetry collars with mortality sensors. Collars were set to take a GPS point (location) twice a day.

CROSSROAD

Benefits:

By monitoring pronghorn movements in Big Chino Valley we will be able to determine areas of special importance (such as fawning areas) that need to be preserved. We will also be able to identify areas where there are impediments to movement (such as roads or fence lines) that can be mitigated.  This study will also help us better understand pronghorn movement patterns in this area, ultimately improving population management; and information on habitat use will help design and direct future habitat improvement projects.

 
For more information contact:
Michelle Crabb, Arizona Game and Fish Department
5000 W. Carefree Highway, Phoenix, AZ 85023
E-mail: mcrabb@azgfd.gov

Kirby Bristow, Arizona Game and Fish Department
5000 W. Carefree Highway, Phoenix, AZ 85023
E-mail: kbristow@azgfd.gov



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