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Arizona Receives Antelope Transplant From Utah
January 21, 2009.
From the Arizona Game and Fish Department:
Arizona’s pronghorn antelope received an instant population boost recently thanks to an area in Utah having an excess of these high grassland speedsters.
Through a professional cooperation between wildlife agencies, the Arizona Game and Fish Department received 100 pronghorn antelope from the Utah Department of Wildlife Resources, to supplement current populations and take advantage of habitat improvements made to historical antelope range here.
To enhance natural population growth, the 100 young pronghorns consisted of a 5:1 doe-to-buck ratio. The department released the animals in three different Game Management Units. Unit 21 received 40 animals near Cordes Junction (20 each at two different sites), Unit 1’s Sipe White Mountain Wildlife Area received 20 animals, and Unit 27 received the balance of 40 animals north of Morenci.
“All of these areas have undergone years of habitat improvements, including range fence modifications, removal of encroaching juniper trees, thinning of brush in movement corridors, and the construction of new reliable water sources,” said Brian Wakeling, the department’s acting game chief.
Wakeling pointed out that all these improvements came through countless hours in the field and partnerships with the Arizona Antelope Foundation, the U.S. Forest Service and others.
Wildlife translocations continue to be a valuable tool for improving existing wildlife populations. Although these efforts are primarily funded through sportsmen’s dollars and federal wildlife restoration funds derived from the Pittman-Robertson Act, wildlife belongs and is enjoyed by all of the public, and the Arizona Game and Fish Department continues to follow the North American Wildlife Conservation Model to ensure that wildlife populations are here for future generations to enjoy.