Birth of 84 fawns indicates management efforts paying off
TUCSON – After four years of comprehensive, science-based management efforts, biologists at the Arizona Game and Fish Department are encouraged by the birth of 84 pronghorn antelope fawns this year and increased pronghorn distribution throughout Game Management Units 34A, 34B and 35A in southeastern Arizona.
In recent ground surveys conducted with the Arizona Antelope Foundation, the Arizona Game and Fish Department counted 48 bucks, 131 does and 84 fawns during a two-day (June 13-14) ground survey near Sonoita and Patagonia.
This year’s count of 263 pronghorn antelope is up from the minimum adult population of 81 counted four years ago, when the Arizona Antelope Foundation was awarded a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation grant for grasslands restoration projects in the area.
The grasslands restoration efforts included a combination of mesquite removal and prescribed burns. In addition, fence modifications, water improvements, predator control, and population augmentation also were used to help bolster pronghorn antelope numbers.
“The conditions that allow pronghorn numbers to increase were created by a combination of these wildlife management actions,” said Amber Munig, big game management program supervisor. “Rarely will a single management action result in such positive change.”
A running pronghorn antelope can reach speeds of 60 miles per hour or more, but they are hesitant to jump over objects, preferring instead to crawl under or through fences. Their eight-month gestation period is among the longest of North American game animals.
For more information about pronghorn antelope, visit: https://azgfdportal.az.gov/hunting/species/biggame/antelope