Sonoran Pronghorn

sonoranpronghorn-caseygirard

About Them: Sonoran Pronghorn are one of five subspecies of the Pronghorn. The Sonoran only live in the Sonoran Desert between the US and Mexico.

These are incredible animals that lived through the last ice age. They evolved to live with the animals before that ice age which, caused them develop their unique traits. They can run over 50 mph, this was to get away from Dire Wolves and Saber Toothed Cats. They are able to do this because of their tiny powerful legs and their huge lungs, heart, and trachea that allow for air to flow quickly. They have huge eyes, they are the same size as an elephant’s, these are high on their head on both sides.

Their plight: These are long range migrators. They need vast open space without fences or roads. Because much of their territory crosses ranch land and country border walls they get trapped. As fast as these pronghorn can run they can’t jump, so a fence is a major barrier. They are over hunted. Their habitat is changing as the climate changes. Lack of yearly rains causes the food produced to be scarce. In the past they would migrate to better locations but, they are now hemmed in to these limited ranges.

What we should consider: What are ways we can allow for their migration across the land? Are there ways to implement fences that still make way for the Pronghorn? Given that they managed to live through a the mass extinction, the Ice Age, there is possibly much we could learn from them on how to deal with climate change.

What is being done: Captive breeding programs are in place and they are preserved on the National Wildlife Refuges in the US. There are between 80-160 left in the US (range given to date range within found reference material).

How to help: Continue bringing awareness. Call into state senators when legislation is being passed that could affect the continued support of policy that protects wildlife, national land and waterways. Support locally.

Support can be:

  • donating to science groups
  • helping to ensure funding to the organizations that creating breeding programs
  • being a citizen scientist through
    • land restoration project
    • trash clean ups
    • species counts
    • bio blitzes
  • getting people you know excited about how incredible our planet’s biodiversity is.

Joining your local Audubon Society is a great first step into finding activities and ways to become a citizen scientist and environmental advocate.

Further Reading, my sources:

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/p/pronghorn/

https://www.desertusa.com/animals/pronghorn.html

https://defenders.org/sonoran-pronghorn/basic-facts

https://www.nps.gov/orpi/learn/nature/pronghorn.htm

http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20170403-americas-pronghorns-are-survivors-of-a-mass-extinction

http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/may2008/2008-05-22-01.html

https://medium.com/usfws/rare-sonoran-pronghorn-are-rebounding-5de9c5343ded

https://www.fws.gov/refuge/Kofa/wildlife/pronghorn.html

[This is a blog of my opinions. I speak for myself. I am a one person team and if I have misinterpreted a fact or made an error please feel free to get in touch to correct me. I will make edits and updates to post. I would appreciate corrections to be polite. I will not engage in hate.]

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