Texas pronghorn antelope moved from Panhandle to Trans Pecos

By on in Texas Hunting

Image by Lone Star Outdoor News

Image by Lone Star Outdoor News

The continuation of the Trans-Pecos Pronghorn Restoration Project progressed with another successful relocation of almost 100 pronghorn recently.

The animals were captured from healthy populations around Pampa and moved to an area southeast of Marfa to supplement severely depleted pronghorn populations.

The relocation process was coordinated among the Borderlands Research Institute at Sul Ross State University, Trans-Pecos Pronghorn Working Group, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, and USDA-Wildlife Services.

The objective of the Trans-Pecos Pronghorn Restoration Project is to bolster pronghorn populations that have reached historic lows through translocations, habitat improvements, and predator management.

At least 17,000 pronghorn once roamed the West Texas region; today there are less than 3,000.  The Trans-Pecos Pronghorn Restoration Program is a five-year $1.4 million public-private partnership with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation.  To date, $1 million has been secured.

Last year, 125 pronghorn were captured from the Dalhart area and released on ranches near Marathon.  Currently, TPWD estimates about 80 percent of the transplanted pronghorn remain and reproduction was also high with a fawn crop of over 70 precent  in the Marathon area.  The transplanted pronghorn and their offspring have significantly boosted the local population within the release area near Marathon, which had less than 50 animals prior to the translocation.

“We hope this population will continue to grow and become another source for pronghorn in the next few years to help supplement other herds in the Trans-Pecos,” said Shawn Gray, TPWD Mule Deer and Pronghorn Program Leader.

“The release areas in 2013 and 2014 had favorable range conditions. We also spent months working with landowners to prepare each release site, including fence modifications and predator management. Trans-Pecos field staff and BRI students, headed by local Wildlife Biologists Mike Janis and Mike Sullins were instrumental in this effort” Gray stated.

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