The amazing pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) is North America’s fastest land mammal.
- Pronghorn have been recorded running up to 100 km/h.
- It is often cited as the second-fastest land animal in the world, second only to the cheetah.
- It can, however, sustain high speeds longer than cheetahs.
The male pronghorn has unique prong-shaped horns as shown in the image below.
- Males have a horn sheath about 12.5–43 cm (4.9–16.9 in) (average 25 cm (9.8 in)) long with a prong.
- Males are further differentiated from females in having a small patch of black hair at the angle of the mandible.
- All male pronghorn have horns.
Approximately only 40% of female pronghorn have horns.
- As shown in the image below, females have smaller horns that range from 2.5–15.2 cm (1–6 in) (average 12 centimetres (4.7 in)) and sometimes barely visible; they are straight and very rarely pronged.
Pronghorn’s conservation status is “Threatened“.
- Pronghorn are native to North America and numbered an estimated 35 million in the early 19th century.
- Today, about 700,000 remain and more than half of those live in Wyoming, USA.
This video presents Pronghorn Passage.
- “Photojournalist and National Geographic Young Explorer Joe Riis hopes to inspire people to protect the Path of the Pronghorn by documenting their epic migration — from the pronghorn’s perspective.”
Pronghorn habitats ranged from the south-central prairies of Canada through the Plains and Great Basin’s grasslands and shrubsteppes of the United States, southwestward to the semidesert grasslands and deserts of northwestern Mexico.
Recently, biologists from the U.S., Mexico, and Canada have collaborated for the first time to produce recommendations to protect and manage the pronghorn populations.
“Pronghorn Management Guides”
Biological and management principles and practices designed to sustain pronghorn populations in the USA, Mexico, and Canada.
The “Pronghorn Management Guides” fifth edition provides an updated compendium of suggested practices and techniques for managing pronghorn and pronghorn habitat.
…between 1550 and 1920,… pronghorn numbers declined due to fencing, habitat loss, competition with livestock, and year-round hunting….
More favorable weather, regulated hunting, reversion of farmland to rangeland, and translocations resulted in a great increase in pronghorn numbers to > 1 million in 1983 (Yoakum 1986). By 2000, cumulative legal harvests of > 3.5 million pronghorn were being realized (O’Gara and Morrison 2004). Population expansions are currently limited by agricultural, urban, and mining expansions onto historic rangelands; restrictions of movement by fencing; the resistance of agricultural interests to population increases; the alteration of native vegetation by certain rangeland rehabilitation programs; and range overuse. In certain locales, these and other debilitating factors are such that managers are hard pressed to even maintain existing populations….
Those that have the greatest impact on pronghorn today include roads, railroads, fences, housing, and energy production. The primary factors associated with industrial and infrastructure development which change pronghorn demographics and behavior are habitat fragmentation and loss. These account for loss of summer and winter range, and a severing of connectivity for pronghorn migration in Canada, the U.S., and Mexico. The aim of these management recommendations is to reduce these impacts on pronghorn populations…
….it is clear from past history and recent research that populations will not be maintained without deliberate conservation measures. At the core of these measures is habitat. Pronghorn are a nomadic species with movement requirements as variable as the extreme winters and lengthy droughts that typify the landscapes they utilize…
From 1988 through 1994, Byers (1997) was able to identify 84 – 136 adult pronghorn, depending on the year, on the National Bison Range by using sketches and photographs to help memorize their physical characteristics and coat patterns….
…although the pronghorn on the National Bison Range are considered wild, all of the animals are fenced in, and essentially captives….
Limited hard copies are available on a “first come” basis from: New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, Santa Fe, New Mexico. We give permission to make copies or reprints of this version without changes.
Yoakum, J. D., P. F. Jones, J. Cancino, R. J. Guenzel, R. Seidler, A. Munguia-Vega,I. Cassaigne, and M. Culver. 2014. Pronghorn management guides. Fifth edition. Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies’ Pronghorn Workshop and New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico. 159 pp
In the new “Pronghorn Management Guides”, Yoakum, J. D., P. F. Jones et al. used 33 black-&-white photographs to depict the myriad aspects of pronghorn management and conservation such as:
- the various habitats occupied by pronghorn (photographs 1 through 8);
- male pronghorn’s territorial behavior (photograph 9);
- a herd of more than 270 running pronghorn on the shrubsteppes of southcentral Oregon (photograph 10);
- a distance sampling technique applicable to pronghorn surveys (photograph 11);
- capture and translocation: necessary for pronghorn management (photograph 13);
- the corral trap as a cost-effective means of capturing large numbers of pronghorn (photograph 14);
- net gunning – a popular method to capture pronghorn because it is cost-effective and time-efficient (photograph 15);
- a pronghorn fawn (photograph 19);
- pronghorn and livestock foraging together in a short-grass prairie community in central Arizona (photograph 25);
- pronghorn and bison grazed the grassland prairie in eastern Wyoming (photograph 26);
- fences that are built to fully restrict and control pronghorn movement (photograph 29); and
- a wildlife overpass to accommodate pronghorn movements over roadways in Wyoming (photograph 33).
Wildlife Conservation Society
Biologists from the U.S., Canada, and Mexico Collaborate for North America’s Fastest Land Animal
New Pronghorn Management Guides share latest science, inform issues impacting species
BOZEMAN (August 13, 2014) – Biologists from the U.S., Mexico, and Canada have collaborated for the first time to produce recommendations to protect and manage North America’s fastest land mammal – the pronghorn.
Pronghorn are endemic to North America and numbered an estimated 35 million in the early 19th century. Today, about 700,000 remain and more than half of those live in Wyoming. The guides provide the latest “state-of-the-art” pronghorn management recommendations on such topics as assessing habitat and life histories, harvest, predation, and population dynamics.
“These guides are the product of collaboration across borders,” said co-author Paul Jones, Senior Biologist with Alberta Conservation Association. “This is the first time that biologists from these three nations have joined together in the common interest of informing the conservation and management of pronghorn. No matter what part of the pronghorn range you are living or working in, the issues facing the animals are the same.”
Some of the ongoing priority issues faced among scientists and agency biologists include managing pronghorn under the pressures of industrial development and understanding and mitigating the impacts of linear infrastructure (roads, fences, etc.) on the animals as they move across the landscape. These topics were updated and among those highlighted in this edition of the guide. A new section on pronghorn genetics was added— highlighting its use in determining subspecies taxonomy, population genetics and forensic applications.
Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Associate Conservation Biologist and co-author Renee Seidler said, “This document pulled current information from some of our best, current resources on pronghorn management and summarized it all in one place. It will aid biologists, conservationists, managers, and land owners alike in making the most informed decisions for pronghorn conservation.”
As WCS’s Pronghorn Field leader, Seidler researches pronghorn as they journey the “Path of the Pronghorn,” a 6,000 year-old migration between wintering grounds in Wyoming’s Upper Green River Basin and summering grounds in Grand Teton National Park. Within the Path, WCS’s scientific contributions helped inform a highway overpass project at Trapper’s Point Wyoming that was completed in 2012, marking a new era of reduced risk of wildlife/vehicular collisions in the area.
For further information on this story, or to talk with Renee Seidler, please contact Scott Smith at 718-220-3698 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Multiple organizations contributed to this edition of the guide, including the Alberta Conservation Association, Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas del Noroeste, S.C., and the Wildlife Conservation Society. Co-authors include J. D. Yoakum, P. F. Jones, J. Cancino, R. J. Guenzel, R. Seidler, A. Munguia-Vega, I. Cassaigne and M. Culver.
The guides are a product of the 25th Biennial Pronghorn Workshop held in Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico, (2012) that brought together participants from state and provincial wildlife agencies, federal land and wildlife agencies, universities and colleges, wildlife conservationists and others from southern Canada, northern Mexico and the western U.S. to exchange information on pronghorn and their management.
This update of the Pronghorn Management Guides (5th Edition) is dedicated in memory of the lead author, James “Jim” Donovan Yoakum, who chaired the update of this edition. Jorge Cancino, Investigator with Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas del Noroeste, S.C. described Jim as “a leader in pronghorn research, management, and conservation who inspired continued passion for protection of the species.”
The guides were produced by the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies’ Pronghorn Workshop and New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. Limited hard copies of the guides are available on a “first come” basis from: New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, Santa Fe, New Mexico.
- Pronghorn are native to North America and numbered an estimated 35 million in the early 19th century. Today, about 700,000 remain and more than half of those live in Wyoming.
- Pronghorn antelope (Antilocapra americana) are not true antelope. Pronghorns however do resemble antelope, which are African and Asian herbivores of a different family.
- Pronghorn have been recorded running up to 100 km/h.
- Pronghorn have exceptional eyesight and can detect movement up to 6.5 km away
- All male pronghorns have horns while approximately only 40% of female pronghorn have horns.
- Pronghorn females usually give birth to twins, but there is a high mortality rate of fawns during the first month of life.
This video presents Pronghorn Antelopes Running at Full Speed .
- “Pronghorn Antelopes running at full pace in Bailey County south of Muleshoe, Texas on April 6, 2010 in West Texas.
- Pronghorns are the second fastest land mammal in the world.”