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Collaborative Effort Underway to Save Peninsular Pronghorn

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: January 23, 2022 11:00 am

A peninsular pronghorn is seen wearing a radio collar as part of research in to the species

Photo Credit: San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance

New insights in to the movements of the peninsular pronghorn are being gathered as part of a bi-national collaborative partnership to save the endangered peninsular pronghorn. The program will allow tracking of the El Vizcaino Biosphere Preserve in Baja California Sur, Mexico.

Eight of the antelope were fitted with technologically advanced solar-powered, GPS-enabled radio collars that will update a satellite with their location every 15 minutes for the next 3 years.

The movements will be plotted against a map and then overlaid with landscape data to provide an overview of the movements of the animals helping with future conservation efforts.

“The lightweight, powerful technology has only recently become available. In just a few weeks we have already learned a great deal. This will significantly advance our understanding about what this endangered species needs to survive and thrive and will inform conservation measures in the future,” said James Sheppard, recovery ecology scientist, San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance.  

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Peninsular pronghorn are threatened across their range with less than 50 remaining in the wild. 500 remain in managed reserves in Baja California, Mexico and 40 in an assurance population in zoos in the U.S.

They are among the world's fastest antelopes. This speed coupled with the harsh habitats in which they live make studying them difficult. With advances in technology more insights in to the species can be gained allowing conservation efforts to target areas where they will help most.

The multi-agency, bi-national partnership to protect the species includes researchers and wildlife care specialists from San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance; the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens; Fossil Rim Wildlife Center and the El Paso Zoo; the Peninsular Pronghorn Recovery Project (PPRP); the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP) Mexico, and local land managers in Mexico.

Recovery efforts for the species began in 1997 when fewer than 170 individuals were in the population.

“These new collars will advance the successes of the Peninsular Pronghorn Recovery Project even further,” said Melodi Tayles, wildlife care manager and Peninsular Pronghorn Species Survival Plan coordinator, San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. “It is also a perfect example of the value of collaboration with good conservation partners, working to make a difference for wildlife.”

The multi-agency, bi-national partnership to protect the species includes researchers and wildlife care specialists from San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance; the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens; Fossil Rim Wildlife Center and the El Paso Zoo; the Peninsular Pronghorn Recovery Project (PPRP); the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP) Mexico, and local land managers in Mexico.

Learn more about Pronghorn here – Pronghorn Fact File | The Animal Facts

Learn more about the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance on their website – San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance

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